Trichomoniasis is a common sexually transmitted disease that affects both women and men, although symptoms are more common in women. Trichomoniasis is a vaginal infection caused by a protozoan called T. vaginalis.
History of the patient may include:
- New or multiple partners
- History of STDs
- Reports engaging in commercial sex work
- Use of injection drugs
- Partner symptoms of STDs
- Sexual activity (last exposure, exposure sites)
- Lack of STD protection
- Report of dyspareunia
If there are signs, they usually come 4 to 20 days after contact with an infected partner, but the signs can come months or even years after infection.
- Yellow-green vaginal discharge
- Vulvar/vaginal pruritus, burning, irritation
- Urinary frequency/dysuria
- Postcoital spotting
- Most men who are infected have no signs. Some men with trich have thin, clear, or white discharge from the penis, or pain while urinating.
Physical tests are performed to diagnose the infection. Inspection of the vulva, vagina, and cervix are done to assess for: Erythema, swelling, vaginal discharge, punctate cervical lesions (“strawberry patches”) , inflammation of Skene’s or Bartholin’s glands and urinary meatus, and urethral discharge for males. Laboratory testing for women include: Wet prep with pH, saline, KOH and Possible adjunct testing (e.g. OSOM Trichomonas Rapid Test).
The patient should follow the given guidelines:
- Avoid alcohol during treatment
- Abstain from sexual intercourse until therapy is completed
- Information and awareness on Trichomonas as a sexually transmitted infection
- Inform the sex partner about your infection
- Know the contraceptive methods
- Encourage Condom use consistently and correctly to prevent STDs
There is no lasting damage, but women with trichonomiasis may be more likely to have babies who are premature or too small. For both men and women, trichonomiasis can cause inflammation of the genitals that makes it easier to get other sexually transmitted diseases. Use a new condom every time you have sex. Birth control pills do not prevent trichonomiasis or other sexually transmitted diseases. Being treated for trichonomiasis does not prevent you from becoming re-infected after unprotected sex.