Trichomoniasis Overview

February 9th, 2011  |  Published in Trichomoniasis Overview

Trichomoniasis (“trich”) is a parasitic sexually transmitted disease (STD) contracted through penis-to-vagina intercourse or vulva-to-vulva contact with an infected partner. In the US, most cases occur in women between ages 16 and 35.

Symptoms of Trichomoniasis in women are discomfort during intercourse, itching of the inner thighs, vaginal discharge (thin, greenish-yellow, frothy or foamy), vaginal itching, vulva itching or swelling of the labia, or vaginal odor.  Symptoms of Trichomoniasis in men are burning after urination or ejaculation, itching of urethra, or slight discharge from urethra.

Women are tested for Trichomoniasis by conducting a pelvic exam to retrieve a swab of any vaginal discharge. The swab is screened for the infection-causing organisms. A pap smear may also diagnose the condition. Unfortunately, Trichomoniasis can be hard to diagnose in men. Men are treated if the infection is diagnosed in any of their sexual partners, or if symptoms such as urethral burning or itching continue despite treatment for Gonorrhea and Chlamydia.

Complications of Trichomoniasis are changes in the tissue on the cervical surface. These changes may be seen on a routine Pap smear. In such cases, treatment should be started and the Pap smear repeated 3 to 6 months later.

Trichomoniasis is curable, typically treated with the antibiotic metronidazole.

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