Trichomoniasis, sometimes referred to as "trich," is a common STD
that affects 2 to 3 million American yearly. It is caused by a
single-celled protozoan parasite called Trichomonas vaginalis.
Trichomoniasis is primarily an infection of the urogenital tract;
the urethra is the most common site of infection in a man, and the
vagina is the most common site of infection in women.
What Are the
Trichomoniasis, like many other STIs, often occurs without any
symptoms. Men also never have symptoms. When women have symptoms,
they usually appear within four to 20 days of exposure. The symptoms
in women include a heavy, yellow-green or gray vaginal discharge,
discomfort during intercourse, vaginal odor, and painful urination.
Irritation and itching of the female genital area, and on rare
occasions, lower abdominal pain also can be present. The symptoms in
men, if present, include a thin, whitish discharge from the penis
and painful or difficult urination.
Because men can transmit the disease to their sex partners even when
symptoms are not present, it is preferable to treat both partners to
eliminate the parasite. Metronidazole is the drug used to treat
people with trichomoniasis. It usually is administered in a single
dose. People taking this drug should not drink alcohol because
mixing the two substances occasionally can cause severe nausea and
Cause Any Other Problems?
Research has shown a link between trichomoniasis and two serious
sequelae. Data suggest that trichomoniasis is associated with
increased risk of transmission of HIV and may cause a women to
deliver a low-birth-weight or premature infant. Additional research
is needed to fully explore these relationships.
Note: All information
is based upon materials published by the National Institute of
Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAD).
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