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Trichomoniasis

Definition

Trichomoniasis is a common sexually transmitted disease (STD). It often affects the lower genital tract in women and inside of the penis in men.

Causes    TOP

Trichomoniasis is caused by a specific parasite. The parasite is passed through sexual contact. It mainly affects genital tissue.

Risk Factors    TOP

Factors that may increase your chance of trichomoniasis include:

  • Multiple sexual partners
  • Sex without a condom
  • History of STDs

Symptoms    TOP

Trichomoniasis does not always cause symptoms. Men are less likely to have symptoms than women.

Symptoms in women may include:

  • A foul-smelling, greenish-yellow or gray discharge from the vagina—often in large amounts
  • Irritation, itching, and/or soreness in the genitals
  • Pain or discomfort when urinating
  • Pain or discomfort with sex

Infection Site in Women

Vagina
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

Symptoms in men may include:

  • Discharge from the penis
  • Itching and/or irritation in the urethra
  • Pain or discomfort when urinating
  • Burning sensation after ejaculation

Infection Site in Men

Male Urethtra
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

Diagnosis    TOP

You will be asked about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. Vaginal fluid or discharge will be examined from women. Urine, semen, or penile discharge will be examined from men. The samples can be sent to a lab to confirm trichomoniasis.

Treatment    TOP

Trichomoniasis is can be treated with antibiotics. The antibiotic may be given in a single dose or a weeklong course.

Trichomoniasis is easily passed back and forth between sexual partners. Your partner(s) should also be treated, even if symptoms are not present. An infected person can infect their sexual partners even if they do not have symptoms.

Avoid sex until your treatment is done and your symptoms are gone.

Prevention    TOP

To help prevent sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) like trichomoniasis:

  • Always use condoms during sexual intercourse.
  • Have a mutually monogamous relationship

RESOURCES:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
http://www.cdc.gov
The American Congress of Obstetrics and Gynecology
http://www.acog.org

CANADIAN RESOURCES:

Sex Information and Education Council of Canada
http://sieccan.org
Sexuality and U—The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada
http://www.sexualityandu.ca

References:

Trichomoniasis. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at:
...(Click grey area to select URL)
Updated April 28, 2015. Accessed May 28, 2015.
Trichomoniasis. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T116226/Trichomoniasis. Updated March 17, 2016. Accessed September 14, 2016.
Trichomoniasis. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases website. Available at:
...(Click grey area to select URL)
Updated February 28, 2013. Accessed May 28, 2015.
Workowski KA, Berman S, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Sexually Transmitted Diseases Treatment Guidelines, 2010. MMWR 2010;59(No. RR-12):1-110.
Last reviewed May 2016 by David L. Horn, MD
Last Updated: 5/28/2015

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