Trichomonas is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) caused by a parasite known as Trichomonas Vaginalis. Although many may not have heard of this it is actually one of the most common STDs in the world.
How does it pass on?
In order to understand how it passes on it is important to know where Trichomonas inhabits. Most will be found within the vagina or on the vulva for women, and within the tip of the penis (urethra) for men. This is why it is so easy to pass on through sexual intercourse. However, the parasite does not routinely infect other areas or the body such as hands, mouth and anus.
Most have no symptoms at all making Trichomonas difficult to identify without screening.
If symptoms are present, then below are possible symptoms:
Men: itching or irritation from within the penis, burning passing urine, mild discharge
Women: itching, red or sore genitals, smelly/unusual vaginal discharge.
Symptoms may appear as early as 5 days after infection or even as late as a month after. Symptoms can also come and go, making the scenario more confusing for patients.
Trichomonas can increase the risk of getting other STDs. The inflammation and redness caused can also increase the risk of infection with HIV.
This will require screening (men and women), as symptoms alone are not enough to be accurate. Men will require a urine sample while women require a vaginal swab.
Anti-parasitic tablets work very well and Trichomonas is easily curable. However, they will not prevent you from getting Trichomonas again.
Using condoms helps reduce the risk and getting regular STD screens are the only ways to be sure.
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