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Trichomoniasis Symptoms and Cure

Updated on November 28, 2010

It’s somewhat stunning that so few teenagers have heard of Trichomoniasis, given that the CDC says it’s the single most common (treatable) STD among sexually active women. 7,400 new “Trich” (pronounced “Trick”) cases each year seems like reason enough for sex ed. teachers to make sure students know about this before they start experimenting with intimacy. While Trichomonas vaginalis is a sexually transmitted infection, it is neither bacterial nor viral – it’s actually protozoal in nature. Read on to familiarize yourself with the symptoms, and learn how to cure this STD.

Trichomoniasis Transmission

So how do you get Trich, anyway? Rather easily, unfortunately. Despite the parasite being named Trichomonas vaginalis, Trichomoniasis affects both women and men and symptoms typically present in the vagina and male urethra, respectively. This can be passed woman-to-man, man-to-woman and woman-to-woman, but man-to-man is far less likely.

Trich Symptoms

Symptoms of a Trichomoniasis infection can show up anywhere from about a week to about a month following exposure. Guys are often relatively lucky in that their symptoms are usually limited to a slight burning or irritation of the urethra after peeing, but it’s possible to be asymptomatic. Women are less fortunate in that they can develop a very unpleasant frothy type of yellowish-green discharge which stinks to high heaven. Or, they might just experience vaginal itching or burning without the discharge. Pain in the abdominal region may occur as well, but this is quite rare.

Diagnosing Trichomoniasis

Women with Trich may develop cervical sores which can be detected during a gynecological exam. And while pelvic exams aren’t at all pleasant, it’s a good deal more reliable in terms of accurate results than when testing men for Trichomonas vaginalis, which involves rather an unpleasant swab of the urethra. Therefore, even if a man tests negative, he may still have it, and it’s simply best if the woman gets tested for Trichomoniasis, regardless.

Trichomonas vaginalis Treatment

Men may be fortunate enough to have their Trichomoniasis symptoms clear up on their own in a relatively short period of time (a few weeks, give or take) but they are still capable of infecting their female partners. Women don’t have the luxury of having their symptoms clear up on their own, and they will require some sort of prescription medication from their gynecologist (most commonly metronidazole or tinidazole), and both (or all) partners should be treated simultaneously to avoid re-infection – and intimacy should be avoided until the medication has run its course.

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