What is trichomoniasis?

Trichomoniasis is a sexually transmitted disease caused by infection with the protozoan Trichomonas vaginalis. In women this parasite infects the vagina; in men the epididymis, prostate or bladder can be involved. In the United States, the highest number of cases occur in women between ages 16 and 35. The disease is quickly and easily treated if diagnosed early, but left untreated it can lead to serious complications. Trichomonas infection is very common, with up to 7.4 million new cases occurring yearly in the United States (Source: CDC).

Symptoms of trichomoniasis vary among individuals. For example, some men exhibit no symptoms at all, particularly in the early stages of the disease. As the disorder progresses, or in men with early symptoms, urethral irritation, penile discharge, and burning with urination or ejaculation can occur. Left untreated, infection can spread to other organs, such as the prostate, and can also potentially contribute to male infertility.

In some women, symptoms may not appear for up to 28 days after infection, while in others symptoms arise almost immediately. Symptoms in women include painful intercourse and an unusual, strong-smelling vaginal discharge that is frothy and may be yellow-green in color.

Seek prompt medical care if you are being treated for trichomoniasis but mild symptoms recur or are persistent, if you are pregnant and have trichomoniasis, if you exhibit signs of bacterial infection such as frothy urine, anorectal pain, pain or burning with urination or ejaculation, pain during sexual intercourse in women, or discharge from the penis in men and abnormal vaginal discharge in women.

SYMPTOMS

What are the symptoms of trichomoniasis?

The symptoms of trichomoniasis are largely confined to the genital areas and urinary tract in both men and women. In both men and women, it is possible to be infected with Trichomonas vaginalis and have no symptoms. Asymptomatic (symptom-free) trichomoniasis is particularly common in men.

Common symptoms of trichomoniasis in women

In women, trichomoniasis symptoms almos... Read more about trichomoniasissymptoms

CAUSES

What causes trichomoniasis?

Trichomoniasis is a sexually transmitted disease caused by infection with the protozoan Trichomonas vaginalis. It is spread through sexual contact, but the parasite does not survive in the mouth or rectum, nor does it survive for long on objects or surfaces. Women can get it from either men or women who are infected, but men usually get it from infected women. Also, in rare cases, a newborn can... Read more about trichomoniasiscauses

TREATMENTS

How is trichomoniasis treated?

Trichomoniasis is usually successfully treated with metronidazole (Flagyl), an antibiotic. Treatment may take several forms: the most effective are either a single-dose oral treatment or a series of smaller doses over one week. A newer drug called tinidazole (Tindamax) is also sometimes used in a single oral dose.

It is important that all sexual partners are treated at the same ti... Read more about trichomoniasistreatments

Medical Reviewer: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS Last Annual Review Date: Sep 20, 2013 Copyright: © Copyright 2014 Health Grades, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Health Grades, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the HealthGrades User Agreement.

This Article is Filed Under: Sexual Health


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