What is trichomoniasis?
Trichomoniasis or “trich” is the most common curable sexually transmitted disease (STD) according to the CDC. It affects sexually active men and women who have unprotected vaginal sex. It can also affect bisexual women and lesbians.
What is the cause of trichomoniasis?
Trichomoniasis is caused by an infection with a tiny parasite not visible with the naked eye, called “Trichomonas vaginalis” which can live in the vulva, vagina, urethra, and cervix of women. For men, the parasite can live in the urethra of the penis.
How is the infection spread and transferred?
Trichomoniasis can be transferred through direct genital contact with an infected individual.
What are the symptoms of a trichomoniasis infection?
About 70% of people infected with trichomoniasis have no symptoms at all, which means that it can be A SILENT INFECTION!!
Men or women who do show symptoms may experience any of the following:
- Itching, burning, irritation of the genitals
- Unusual discharge from the vagina or penis
- Discomfort or burning with urination
How soon after intercourse will I show symptoms of a trichomoniasis infection?
Symptoms usually appear 5-28 days after intercourse with an infected partner. The symptoms may appear and disappear intermittently.
Remember, you and your partner may have NO symptoms at all and can still be infected with trichomoniasis.
How would I know if I am infected with trichomoniasis if most people show no symptoms?
The CDC recommends that high-risk individuals be tested for STDs regularly even if they have no signs or symptoms of an infection.
Who is at high risk for trichomoniasis?
According to the CDC, 3.7 million people in the U.S. are infected with trichomoniasis. It is more common for women to be infected than men. Additionally, older women are at higher risk than younger women due to factors like their increased age and overall health. Of course, any man or woman with STD symptoms should be tested for infection at any time.
Why should I be treated if most people with trichomoniasis are asymptomatic?
Any known symptomatic or asymptomatic individual should be treated for trichomoniasis for the following reasons:
- Inflammation due to untreated trichomoniasis can increase your chances of contracting other STDs, such as HIV
- Pregnant women infected with trichomoniasis may have premature delivery
- Babies born to trichomoniasis-infected mothers are likely to weigh less than those born to healthy mothers
How can I be tested for a trichomoniasis infection?
Dr. Shafa is able to evaluate and obtain an appropriate sample for testing in the office. In most cases, when you are infected, the trich parasite can be seen under a microscope by an experienced physician while you are in the office. If the diagnosis is uncertain, then the sample will be sent to the laboratory for detailed testing to determine the existence of the infection.
How can I be treated for trichomoniasis?
Treatment for trichomoniasis is as simple as a one time dose of antibiotics prescribed by Dr. Shafa.
When can I have sex again after being treated for trichomoniasis?
You and any other sexual partner you should wait 7-10 days to have sex after treatment.
Can I be cured of an infection?
Yes. However, about 1 in 5 people will become reinfected with trichomoniasis in the first 3 months following treatment. To ensure that you are not reinfected, all your partners should be treated before you start having intercourse again.
How can I reduce my risk of contracting trichomoniasis infection?
Abstinence from sexual activity is the only way to completely avoid becoming infected with any type of STD.
You can reduce your risk of infection by being in a monogamous relationship with a partner who has had negative STD testing.
You should also CORRECTLY use male latex condoms every time you have intercourse.
What is my risk for other STDs if I’m infected with trichomoniasis?
Dr. Shafa recommends that any patient with one STD be tested for the other common STDs as well. This provides peace of mind for both the patient and the doctor.
We can offer complete STI/STD panel testing!!
You can be tested right here in our office for any symptom or concern you may be experiencing to ensure proper treatment for you and your partner. Testing can be as simple as a clinical evaluation by Dr. Shafa, urine/blood analysis, culture, and biopsy.
Certain types of STDs can be treated immediately!
For certain STDs, we can treat you in the office. A single injection or a single pill by mouth can take care of the infection completely.
Expedited Partner Therapy
For certain STDs, we may also offer Expedited Partner Therapy. For this, we may provide prescriptions or medications for you to take home to your partner without Dr. Shafa having to examine him or her.
We have the answer to any of your symptoms or concerns!
If you have any concerns or symptoms regarding possible STDs, call us to make a medical appointment to be evaluated, educated, diagnosed, and treated if needed.