Stephens College

Trichomoniasis as an STI

Caused by a microscopic organism known by the name of Trichomonas vaginalis, Trichomoniasis is a sexually transmitted disease (STD). Although there is an incidence of 7.4 million cases every year amongst both the sexes, its occurrence is higher in women. This infection spreads via sexual contact, but it is a curable disease.

How To Find Out Whether You Are Affected?

It is quite common for men to not display any signs or symptoms of the infection. This is why it is relatively difficult to diagnose it in men. It is only when the same infection is noticed in their female sexual partners that they become aware of being affected with the infection.

The most commonly occurring symptoms of this disease in men are:

  • Irritation inside the skin of the penis
  • Mild discharge
  • Burning sensation at ejaculation or urination

For women, the symptoms of the infection are:

  • Strongly foul smelling vaginal discharge
  • Discharge is greenish yellow in color
  • Frothy discharge
  • Urination is painful
  • Itching and irritation in the vagina
  • Discomfort during intimacy
  • Pain in the lower abdomen (rare occurrence)

In women, these symptoms surface after 5 to 28 days of exposure to the infection.

More deatils on the symptoms can be found at the NHS Choices website.

How Is This Infection Diagnosed?

In order to diagnose this infection, your doctor will carry out a thorough physical examination of your genital area. Your doctor will also prescribe some lab tests. These will require a sample such as, vaginal or urethral fluid. It is generally hard to detect the presence of this parasite in men as compared to women. A lab test using PCR is available at

What Are The Treatment Options?

If you have been diagnosed with this infection, your doctor will usually prescribe Metronidazole (Flagyl). This is also the only drug of choice, in case you happen to be pregnant.

As your treatment commences, your partner will be given the same kind of treatment to make sure that the infection does not reappear. Your doctor will also advise you to abstain from any sexual activity until you and your partner have been cleared of this disease.

The symptoms of this condition usually subside after three to four days of medication. It is important that you take antibiotics for the prescribed time period even if you have started feeling better.

What Are The Implications If The Disease Is Left Untreated?

If you do not get treatment for Trichomoniasis, you are vulnerable to:

  • Premature rupture of protective membranes in pregnant women
  • Increased risk of contracting HIV
  • Increased chances of transmitting HIV

How to Prevent Trichomoniaisis?

The following guidelines should be used to limit or prevent the spread of this infection:

  • Use condoms every time you have sex
  • Restrict sexual activity to one partner
  • Abstain from sexual contact in case of doubts and see a doctor.

It is not difficult to control and treat Trichomoniasis but it can be avoid by using condoms.

More information can be found here.