Trichomoniasis

 

Ladies, ever wondered what that yellowish-green vaginal discharge is?

And in men, what that itch and discomfort in the penis is due to?

Besides Chlamydia or gonorrhoea, could it be due to trichomoniasis?

 

What is trichomoniasis?

It is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) caused by the parasite, Trichomonas vaginalis. Despite being not as famous as Chlamydia or gonorrhoea, it is one of the commonest STIs worldwide and is increasing in prevalence. Symptomatic trichomoniasis is more common in women.

So why the big fuss with trichomoniasis?

Research has shown that infection with T.vaginalis increases the risk of HIV transmission in both men and women.   Trichomoniasis also increases susceptibility to other STI and is strongly associated with co-infection with other STI.

In women, trichomoniasis is linked with adverse pregnancy outcomes, infertility, pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), postoperative infections and cervical tumour.

In men, untreated trichomoniasis can lead to complications such as prostatitis, epididymitis, urethral stricture disease and infertility.

What are the Symptoms?

Women:

In women, symptoms can range from none to severe pelvic inflammatory disease (PID).

  • Abnormal vaginal discharge – yellow/green purulent, frothy or bloody
  • Abnormal vaginal odor (musty)
  • Vulvovaginal itchy, burning or soreness
  • Pain during sex (dyspareunia)
  • Pain during urination (dysuria)
  • Bleeding after sex (post coital bleeding)
  • Lower abdominal pain

Men:

The majority of men with trichomoniasis have no symptoms. Men who do have symptoms, report symptoms of urethritis which are usually intermittent and self-limiting.

These includes:

 

What is the Treatment?

Both patient and sexual partner should be treated and should abstain from sex until treatment is completed and their symptoms have resolved.

As trichomoniasis is associated with an increased incidence of co-infection with other STI and increases the risk for HIV, patients should consider being empirically treated for other STI or preferably tested for other STI and offered counselling and testing for HIV.

 

Feel free to email your queries, feedback and suggestions on what other topics you want to see in the comments section below.

 

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If you have any questions, visit our free online forum on sexual health, HIV and STDs.

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