Trichomonas infection or trichomoniasis is sexually transmitted that affects women more often, causing foul smell in the vagina, along with several other symptoms. The STD is caused by the microorganism Trichomonas vaginalis.
Symptoms of trichomonas infection
Women observe the following symptoms after a week or more of the infection.
- smelly vaginal discharge which could be frothy yellow, green, grey or white in colour
- Burning and itching in and around the vagina
- Pain and redness in genitals
- Pain in lower abdomen
- Discomfort during sexual intercourse
- Painful urination
Men usually have no symptoms of trichomonas, nevertheless they can sense irritation in the penis, burning after ejaculating or urinating and observe discharge from the penis.
Causes of trichomonas infection
As said above the infection is caused by the protozoan Trichomonas vaginalis. The infection can easily pass from one person to another on sexual contact via the vagina or the urethra. People who have multiple sexual partners, practice unsafe sex and have a history of STDs are very much prone to acquiring the infection.
When to see a doctor?
You must see your doctor on observing the aforementioned changes in your vaginal discharge or on experiencing pain during urination or sexual intercourse.
Complications of trichomonas infection
Trichomonas infection in pregnant women can trigger an early labour and low birth weight in babies.
Untreated trichomoniasis increases chances of HIV infection.
Diagnosis of trichomonas infection
Your doctor will ask you several questions regarding your sexual life. Make sure you disclose things properly to him/her. Furthermore you need to undergo some tests to confirm the infection specific to trichomonas.
A pelvic exam will be conducted to check the condition of the vagina and the cervix. Usually red blotches are observed on the vaginal wall during the pelvic exam.
The vaginal fluid is collected, which is cultured to detect presence of trichomonas.
In men, the urine is cultured for diagnosis.
Treatment of trichomonas infection
Trichomonas infections are treated with antibiotics, most commonly with metronidazole and tinidazole. It could be in the form of pills or cream/gel. The mode of intake or application will be directed by your doctor.
Apart from this you will be restricted to consume alcohol for 72 hours of taking the drug.
Your doctor may also suggest you to abstain from sex till the infection is completely cured.
Are there any side effects of the pills?
Side effects of the antibiotics include:
Preventing Trichomonas Infection
Just like any other STDs trichomonas infection can also be prevented in the following ways:
- Practice safe sexual techniques. Using condoms is the best way to stop transmission of the microorganism
- Abstain from having multiple sexual partners. There’s better understanding and communication between sexual partners when it’s limited to one.
- Refrain from oral sex, unprotected vaginal as well as anal intercourse
- Get a check up done routinely for STIs to ensure that you are free from STDs
Make sure you discuss with your partner and get the treatment done as early as possible. Complete the course of antibiotics and listen to your doctor’s advice to safeguard yourself from trichomonas infection.
Written by: Saptakee sengupta
Date last updated: January 17, 2015