Trichomoniasis symptoms causes and treatment
Trichomoniasis is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) caused by a small organism called Trichomonas vaginalis.
According to Dr. Rose Gitonga, a gynecologist, women are most often affected by this disease, although men can become infected and pass the infection to their partners through sexual contact.
Speaking to www.westfm.co.ke Dr Rose said, “Trichomoniasis is the most common curable STD in young, sexually active women. An estimated 7.4 million new cases occur each year in women and men.”
“Men often do not have symptoms of trichomoniasis and usually do not know they are infected until their partners need treatment. But when symptoms do occur, they include Irritation inside the penis, Mild discharge, Slight burning after urination or ejaculation,” confirmed Rose.
More often, dirty body especially at the genitals can cause all these. Cleanliness is more vital in in both men and women.
“Many women do have signs or symptoms of infection. Symptoms in women can include, Greenish-yellow, frothy vaginal discharge with a strong odor, Painful urination, Vaginal itching and irritation, Discomfort during intercourse or Lower abdominal pain which is rare.
Symptoms usually appear within five to 28 days of exposure in women.” She added.
To diagnose trichomoniasis, a doctor must perform a physical exam and lab test.
“Lab tests are performed on a sample of vaginal fluid or urethral fluid to look for the disease-causing parasite. The parasite is harder to detect in men than in women.” Said Rose.
Usually an oral antibiotic called metronidazole (Flagyl) is given to treat trichomoniasis.
According to Dr Rose, it is the only drug that should be used to treat trichomoniasis if there is any chance that you could be pregnant.
“Your partner should also be treated at the same time to prevent reinfection and further spread of the disease. In addition, persons being treated for trichomoniasis should avoid sex until they and their sex partners complete treatment and have no symptoms.
It is important to take all of your antibiotics, even if you feel better. You should get retested after three months to be certain the infection is gone, even if your partner has been treated.” She said.
Although she stressed a three month period of time, Dr Rose insisted that she don’t promise her patients on a particular period of time to get healed.
“Depending on how you use your drugs, the faster you get cured”
However, Rose insisted that it is very dangerous for a pregnant woman to have untreated trichomoniasis, as the later can lead to infection of HIV.
“Trichomoniasis in pregnant women may cause premature rupture of the membranes that protect the baby, and early delivery. The genital inflammation caused by trichomoniasis might also increase a woman’s risk of acquiring HIV infection if she is exposed to HIV.
Trichomoniasis in a woman who is also infected with HIV can increase the chances of transmitting HIV infection to a sex partner.” She insisted.
Prevention of Trichomoniasis infections
To reduce your risk of infection, use condoms correctly every time you have sex.
“Limit the number of sex partners, and do not go back and forth between partners. Practice sexual abstinence, or limit sexual contact to one uninfected partner. If you think you are infected, avoid sexual contact and see a doctor.” She advised.
“Any genital symptoms such as discharge or burning during urination or an unusual sore or rash should be a signal to stop having sex and to consult a doctor immediately. If you are told you have trichomoniasis or any other STD and receive treatment, you should notify all of your recent sex partners so that they can see a doctor and be treated.” Added Rose Gitonga.