Trichomoniasis is an infection that is spread and transmitted sexually. This can affect men and women, causing different trichomoniasis symptoms and can be transmitted orally and sexually (as well as if you come in skin to skin contact). Trichomoniasis is a protozoan parasite that infects the genital area. In women it can cause a distinct and foul smelling vaginal discharge that is itchy and painful. Men typically show no symptoms, aiding in the spread of this infection.
Symptoms differ in men and women causing different reactions.
- Distinct foul smelling vaginal discharge. The discharge may be a yellow, green, white, or gray tint.
- Redness of the genitalia
- Genital burning and/or itching
- Urination is painful
- Pain during sexual intercourse
Menstruation may cause further pain and discomfort. There are some cases where women do not show any signs or symptoms at all.
- Pain during urination
- Generally show no signs at all
If you experience any of the above symptoms, you should seek medical attention.
There are two common forms of treatment for trichomoniasis. Both are mega dose pills of either tinidazole or metronidazole. These are taken orally and will kill the parasite, stopping further irritation. There are also creams and gels that are medicated. These can be inserted into the vagina to aid in symptoms and to treat the infection.
However, these are not as effective as the oral methods. Most methods take about one week to work effectively. During this week period, you should avoid sexual contact (to avoid spreading the infection to others). There are some mild side effects that the medications cause. These may include:
- Metallic taste in the mouth
Drinking is not recommended for at least 24 hours after taking a metronidazole dose. If you have take tinidazole, you should avoid alcohol for at least 72 hours. Pregnant women are at a higher risk for more serious factors. These may include:
- Premature delivery
- As the baby passes through the birth canal, the child may become infected with the parasite
- Low birth weight when child is born.
There are many factors that may put you at higher risk for trichomoniasis. These include:
- A prior history of STD’s (sexually transmitted diseases)
- Partaking in multiple sex partners
- Having a trichomoniasis infection previously
Making an Appointment
There are multiple things you can do to prepare yourself for you doctor’s appointment. By making a list of your symptoms as well as any STD’s you have previously had may be very helpful. You may also want to include how many sexual partners you have come in contact with in the last few years. Your visit to the doctor or gynecologist will include a pelvic exam (for women).
They will need a sample of your vaginal fluids so they can run some tests to receive a proper diagnosis. This sample will be looked at under a microscope. This will give an easily established determination. If there are tiny protozoan parasites swimming about when viewed under the microscope- trichomoniasis is present.