What is Trichomoniasis?

Often referred to as “trich,” Trichomoniasis is a common sexually transmitted disease that affect about 2 to 3 million Americans every year. The infection is caused by a single-celled protozoan parasite called Trichomonas vaginalis. It is primarily an infection of the genitourinary tract, commonly affecting the urethra among men, and the vagina among women.

Like many other sexually transmitted diseases, trichomoniasis often occurs without any symptoms especially among men, although signs of infections would occur among women. These symptoms include a heavy, yellow-green vaginal discharge; discomfort during intercourse; unpleasant vaginal odor; lower abdominal pain; and itching of the female genital area.

Symptoms among men, in rare cases, would be whitish discharge from the penis and painful or difficult urination.

Trichomoniasis is associated with increased risk of transmission of HIV and may cause a woman to deliver a low-birth weight or premature infant.

Using male condoms may help prevent the spread of trichs, although careful studies have never been done that focus on how to prevent this infection. This infection is usually treated with Metronidazole.

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