Trichomoniasis Definition

A sexually transmitted disease (STD) resulting from infection with the protozoan Trichomonas vaginalis. Though trichomoniasis affects men and women equally, women are more likely to show symptoms.

About two thirds of men and half of women who have trichomoniasis do not have symptoms, though they are nonetheless able to spread the infection through sexual contact.

Symptoms of Trichomoniasis Include

  • Greenish or yellowish, often foul-smelling, discharge
  • Lower abdominal discomfort
  • In men, burning with urination
  • In women, vaginal or vulvar itching or burning

Trichomoniasis Treatment and Diagnostic

The diagnostic path includes examination under the microscope of a sample of the discharge, which usually contains T. vaginalis though a third of people who have the infection may have negative findings with this test. Culture of discharge samples can provide definitive diagnosis. Treatment is oral therapy with the medication metronidazole.

It is important to also treat all sexual partners, as the likelihood that they also have the infection is very high. Appropriate treatment cures trichomoniasis, though infection may recur with reexposure.

Without treatment the infection remains active. Complications of untreated trichomoniasis include epididymitis and prostatitis in men and chronic vaginitis and vaginal ulcerations in women.


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