Trichomoniasis (Trich)

Trichomoniasis is a genital infection caused by a single-celled protozoan parasite named Trichomonas vaginalis.

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Symptoms

Most men and women who have a Trich infection do not show any symptoms. However, women are more likely then men to show some form of symptom between 5 to 28 days after exposure.

Symptoms for females:

  • Yellow-green vaginal discharge with a strong odor
  • Discomfort during intercourse and urination
  • Irritation and itching of the female genital area
  • Lower abdominal pain can occur.

Symptoms for males:

  • Irritation inside the penis
  • Mild discharge
  • Slight burning after urination or ejaculation

Cases

According to the Center for Disease Control, 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.

Transmission

Trich is transmitted through sexual contact including penis to vagina intercourse and vulva to vulva contact. Vulva is the genital area outside of the vagina and location of parasitic infection in women. The most common location of infection for men is within the urethra (urine canal). It is important to note that women can contract Trich from both men and women, but men can only contract Trich from contact with infected women.

Diagonosis and Treatment

In order to detect Trich, a physical examination by a health care professional and a swab test is required. Women are given a pelvic examination to look for small red ulcerations on the vaginal wall or cervix that are characteristic of Trich. On the other hand, it is very difficult to diagnose men with Trich.

Local Testing Available at:
  • Eastern Illinois University Health Service: Swab Test Only Available for Women - $40
    • Phone: (217) 581-3013

Cure

Trich can be treated through a single dose of the prescription drug metronidazole. It is important to have your partner tested and treated as well to avoid re-infection. Although a male’s symptoms may be non existent or dissipate, he can still infect or re-infect a woman until treated.

Prevention and Risk Reduction

The only 100% effective way to prevent sexually transmitted infections such as Trichomoniasis is to abstain from sexual activity where there is a transmission of bodily fluids such as oral, anal, and vaginal sex. If you choose to be sexually active, being in a monogamous relationship with a partner who is not infected significantly reduces your risk of infection. In addition, reducing your number of sexual partners can help to reduce your risk. Latex condoms, when used consistently and correctly, may reduce the risk of a Trichomoniasis infection.