Trichomoniasis, or “trich”, is a common sexually transmitted disease (STD). Trichomoniasis is a parasite infection caused by Trichomonas vaginalis. According to the CDC, an estimated 3.7 million people in the U.S. have this disease.
The Trichomonas vaginalis parasite is typically spread through unprotected sexual intercourse. This means that you can get these diseases by having vaginal, anal, or oral sex with an infected person. You can also get the disease by genital touching. You can reduce the risk of getting it by using condoms and avoid vaginal douching.
Signs and Symptoms
Not everyone who has Trichomoniasis experiences signs and symptoms–which is why this infection is so widespread.
Men are less likely to be symptomatic than women. When symptomatic, men usually experience pain, itching, or a burning sensation in their penis. They may also experience discharge from their penis.
Women–if symptomatic–often experience pain, itching, or a burning sensation in their vagina. They may also experience unusual vaginal discharge (which can be yellowish, greenish, frothy, and foul-smelling).
According to the CDC, pregnant women with Trichomoniasis are more likely to have their babies delivered too early. Babies who are born to infected mothers are also more likely to have a low birth weight.
Both men and women may experience pain during sex when infected with trichomonas.
If your doctor suspects that you might have a trichomonas infection, they will either order a laboratory test that can confirm the diagnosis, or if the symptoms are typical they may directly treat you based on the symptoms you are having (empiric treatment).
Trichomoniasis is an easily treated infection; the most common regimen is a week-long course of metronidazole (Flagyl). While a one-time dose of Flagyl may also treat the infection, it is less effective than the week-long course.
Furthermore, it is important not to drink any alcohol while taking metronidazole, as the combination may lead to severe and unpleasant side effects, which include nausea, vomiting, and a flushing reaction.
How to Get Help
If you or your partner experience any of the symptoms above or tested positive for an STD, do not delay getting treated. QuickMD can help you and electronically send the appropriate antibiotics directly to your pharmacy via phone, video, or chat–from the privacy of your home. Click here to make an appointment or speak to a doctor now. If you would like to get tested, you can order your own STD test here and have it done at a LabCorp location closest to you.