Trichomoniasis is a sexually transmitted disease. Caused by infection from the parasite Trichomonas vaginalis, usually found in the vagina and urethral tissue. Most infected people don’t realize they have been infected. Although this condition is most common in women, trichomoniasis infection in men can also occur (and often have no symptoms).
Causes of Trichomoniasis
Trichomoniasis is caused by the bacterium Trichomonas vaginalis , the motile flaky protozoa.
- About 174 million people worldwide are infected with this parasite every year, making it the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI) worldwide. In the United States, an estimated 3.7 million people are infected. Only about 30 percent of these people will have symptoms
- Trichomonad’s average size is 15 mm (not visible to the naked eye)
- Parasitic reproduction occurs every 8-12 hours
- Trichomonas vaginalis was isolated in 14 percent to 60 percent of male partners of infected women and 67 percent to 100 percent of female partners of infected men. It is not clear why women are more often infected than men. One possibility is that prostate fluid contains zinc and other substances that can be harmful to the trichomonad.
About 70 percent of infected people do not show any symptoms. If people have symptoms, they can experience mild to severe severity. Symptoms develop from 5 to 28 days after infection, but some people can experience symptoms even appearing at a time. Symptoms can improve or even disappear and then return to some people. If left untreated, the infection can last for months to years. The following are typical symptoms in those who experience trichomoniasis symptoms:
Symptoms of trichomoniasis in women:
- The smell of vaginal odor, itching, and usually foaming
- The vagina is itchy
- The liquid from the vagina comes out yellow or greenish gray
- Pain when urinating can occur
Symptoms of trichomoniasis in men:
- Fluid comes out of the urethra
- Pain when urinating
- Pain and swelling in the scrotum (from epididymitis).
If you feel itchy in the vagina or urethra with fluid discharge or burning sensation while urinating, you should immediately see a doctor.
Trichomoniasis can be easily diagnosed and treated by a doctor.
The diagnosis is made by directly observing trichomonas in a sample of vaginal or urethral fluid through a microscope (too small to be seen with the naked eye).
- Trichomonad is pear-shaped and has several flagella (whip tail) at one end
- These laboratory tests are usually ordered only if the doctor suspects trichomoniasis
- In some cases, the doctor may have to send a sample to the laboratory, and the results are not immediately obtained
- The doctor will collect specimens during pelvic examination in women.
- The doctor inserts the speculum into the vagina and then uses a cotton-tipped applicator to collect samples
- The sample is then placed on a microscope slide for inspection
- Trichomonad is rarely seen during urine tests
- Diagnosis of trichomoniasis usually encourages the search for other sexually transmitted diseases, such as syphilis, HIV, gonorrhea, or chlamydia
Trichomoniasis treatment usually uses antibiotics.
Trichomoniasis independent handling
The treatment of choice is antibiotics prescribed by doctors. In addition to antibiotics, there are several alternative treatment therapies. This therapy has not proven useful, and there is no rigorous scientific evidence that supports its use. Home therapy should not be used as a substitute for proper doctor visits and antibiotics, because this allows the spread of conditions and also other dangerous sexually transmitted diseases, such as syphilis, HIV, gonorrhea, or chlamydia.
Some people feel that douching or rinsing once a day while lying in a warm bath can help, but this is not a substitute for antibiotic treatment. To increase the activity of killing parasites, you can add lemon juice to one of the following douching :
- Vinegar douche – 1 teaspoon of vinegar in 1 liter of warm water
- Yogurt douche or Lactobacillus acidophilus solution – half a teaspoon into one cup of water
Aromatherapy: Bergamot oil (c itrus aurantium var bergamia ) can help dry vaginal discharge. This can be used in douching or added to water for bathing.
The drug of choice is metronidazole ( Flagyl ), except in the first trimester of pregnancy, when clotrimazole ( Mycelex Troche ) is used topically. It is important not to drink alcohol when taking this drug (this combination can cause stomach ache and vomiting).
Metronidazole ( Flagyl )
- Large single doses are as effective as long-term treatment, but increase the risk of side effects such as nausea and vomiting
- Pills taken twice a day for 7 days are an alternative
Clotrimazole (Gyne-Lotrimin, Mycelex-7) if pregnant and experience symptoms
- The drug is inserted into the vagina at night for 14 days
- This will reduce symptoms, but the cure rate is only 20 percent
- Because infected male partners often do not have any symptoms, they do not seek medical care. It is important that sexual partners are evaluated and treated. If not, the person may be re-infected
- Male partners are treated with one large dose of metronidazole or can be treated for 7 days
- Your doctor may not always write additional prescriptions for an infected individual partner without evaluating him or her first
Prevention of Trichomoniasis
Because trichomoniasis is a sexually transmitted disease, abstinence is the only way to truly avoid this disease. Safe sex practices and maintaining the cleanliness of the genitals can also help prevent trichomonas infection.
- Wear condoms (this reduces, but does not completely eliminate the possibility of contracting a trichomonas infection)
- Genital washing before and after intercourse
- Don’t share swimsuits or towels. (Trichomonads last up to 45 minutes outside the body)
- Take a shower immediately after swimming in the public swimming pool
Trichomoniasis is not very serious, but contagious. If left untreated, this virus can infect tissue along the urinary tract and reproductive system. Trichomoniasis can cause preterm labor if left untreated during pregnancy. Trichomonas infection can also cause inflammation and irritation in the genital area which makes it easier to transmit. About 20% of people treated have recurrent infections.