What is Trichomoniasis?

Trichomoniasis is an infection caused by the heteroxenous protozoa Trichomonas vaginalis and is the most prevalent non-viral sexually transmitted infection (STI) worldwide. It is estimated that the infection affects more than 170 million people annually, mainly affecting those in their teens and twenties. It is a milder form of STI, but can if left untreated, can lead to extremely serious health complications. It is primarily passed through unprotected sexual activity.

Symptoms of Trichomoniasis

Trichomoniasis symptoms in women include:

  • Yellow, gray or greenish vaginal discharge
  • Strong-smelling vaginal secretion
  • Vaginal itching or jelly-like secretion
  • Painful urination or intercourse
  • Lower abdominal pain

Trichomoniasis symptoms in men are not common, but when they do occur they include:

  • Burning sensation after urination or ejaculation
  • Itching or irritation inside the penis
  • Burning sensation inside the penis
  • Painful urination
  • Discharge from the penis

Treatment for Trichomoniasis

The recommended treatment for trichomoniasis in both men and women is a single dose of an antibiotic, such as metronidazole or tinidazole. While these medications usually cure the infection, they may also cause some unpleasant side effects such as nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and headaches. Therefore, it is important to take the medications as directed by the doctor.

Preventing Trichomoniasis

The best way to prevent trichomoniasis is to practice safe sex. All sexually active individuals should use condoms, whether with a partner or a casual acquaintance. Individuals should also get tested regularly for STIs, including trichomoniasis, and openly communicate with their sexual partners about their sexual health.