Trichomoniasis

Trichomoniasis is an infection, caused by the Trichomonas organism, that affects both women and men. In women, the outer female genitalia and the vagina are affected. In men, the penis is mainly affected, but the prostate and other reproductive organs can also be involved. Trichomoniasis is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) and is most often passed to another person through sexual contact. The majority of people who get trichomoniasis do so from a sexual encounter and are also at risk for other STDs.

CAUSES

  • Sexual intercourse with an infected partner.

  • It can be present in swimming pools or hot tubs.

SYMPTOMS

  • Abnormal gray-green frothy vaginal discharge in women.

  • Vaginal itching and irritation in women.

  • Itching and irritation of the area outside the vagina in women.

  • Penile discharge with or without pain in males.

  • Inflammation of the urethra (urethritis), causing painful urination.

  • Bleeding after sexual intercourse.

RELATED COMPLICATIONS

  • Pelvic inflammatory disease.

  • Infection of the uterus (endometritis).

  • Infertility.

  • Tubal (ectopic) pregnancy.

  • It can be associated with other STDs, including gonorrhea and chlamydia, hepatitis B, and HIV.

COMPLICATIONS DURING PREGNANCY

  • Early (premature) delivery.

  • Premature rupture of the membranes (PROM).

  • Low birth weight.

DIAGNOSIS

  • Visualization of Trichomonas under the microscope from the vagina discharge.

  • Ph of the vagina greater than 4.5, tested with a test tape.

  • Trich Rapid Test.

  • Culture of the organism, but this is not usually needed.

  • It may be found on a Pap test.

  • Having a "strawberry cervix,"which means the cervix looks very red like a strawberry.

TREATMENT

  • You may be given medication to fight the infection. Inform your caregiver if you could be or are pregnant. Some medications used to treat the infection should not be taken during pregnancy.

  • Over-the-counter medications or creams to decrease itching or irritation may be recommended.

  • Your sexual partner will need to be treated if infected.

HOME CARE INSTRUCTIONS

  • Take all medication prescribed by your caregiver.

  • Take over-the-counter medication for itching or irritation as directed by your caregiver.

  • Do not have sexual intercourse while you have the infection.

  • Do not douche or wear tampons.

  • Discuss your infection with your partner, as your partner may have acquired the infection from you. Or, your partner may have been the person who transmitted the infection to you.

  • Have your sex partner examined and treated if necessary.

  • Practice safe, informed, and protected sex.

  • See your caregiver for other STD testing.

SEEK MEDICAL CARE IF:

  • You still have symptoms after you finish the medication.

  • You have an oral temperature above 102° F (38.9° C).

  • You develop belly (abdominal) pain.

  • You have pain when you urinate.

  • You have bleeding after sexual intercourse.

  • You develop a rash.

  • The medication makes you sick or makes you throw up (vomit).