Trichomonas, or Trichomoniasis, is a sexually transmitted parasitic infection caused by the pathogen, Trichomonas Vaginalis. It spreads via vaginal, oral, or anal intercourse. Trichomonas is a common and treatable illness. However, many people may not have symptoms. It is vital to highlight that inadequate hygiene does not cause Trichomoniasis. It is the parasite that causes it and spreads through sexual contact.
This blog will explore various aspects of Trichomonas, including understanding this parasitic infection, transmission, risk factors, symptoms and complications, diagnosis, treatment options, preventive measures, and Trichomonas testing options.
Trichomoniasis is among the most common STDs worldwide and in the United States. Trichomoniasis is likely to be generally underdiagnosed due to many causes, including a lack of systematic STD testing, the low sensitivity of a routinely used diagnostic method (wet mount microscopy), and vague symptomatology.
Most individuals infected with Trichomoniasis do not have any symptoms, but when symptoms emerge, they often begin 5 to 28 days after exposure. Trichomoniasis can cause pregnancy problems and raise the chance of developing HIV/AIDS.
The diagnosis is less usually sought in males, and they may be asymptomatic or present with symptoms such as penile discharge, testicular discomfort, dysuria, urinary frequency, or murky urine.
Transmission and risk factors
Here are some key points about the transmission and risk factors of Trichomoniasis:
- Trichomoniasis is commonly transmitted via sexual activities.
- It can also be spread by sharing sex toys.
- Pregnant mothers might spread the illness to their unborn infants during childbirth.
- Having unprotected intercourse with an infected partner is the most prevalent risk factor for Trichomoniasis.
- Women are more likely to get infected than males.
- Having several sexual partners raises the chance of having Trichomoniasis.
- Other risk factors include having a history of sexually transmitted diseases, douching, and using intrauterine devices (IUDs).
Symptoms and complications
Some common symptoms and complications of Trichomoniasis are:
- About 70% of afflicted persons do not experience symptoms when infected.
- In women, the major symptom is vaginal discharge, but around half of those infected are asymptomatic.
- Other symptoms in women might include itching in the genital area, a foul-smelling watery vaginal discharge, burning sensation during urination, and pain during intercourse.
- In males, symptoms might include urethral discharge, irritation, and burning during urination.
- Trichomoniasis raises the risk of transmission of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections.
- In women, untreated Trichomoniasis can cause difficulties during pregnancy, including preterm delivery, low birth weight babies, and early rupture of membranes.
- In males, complications may include Epididymitis, Prostatitis, and infertility.
Diagnosis of Trichomonas
To diagnose Trichomoniasis, healthcare providers use a combination of physical examination and laboratory tests. Here is an overview of the diagnostic methods:
Physical Examination: During a physical exam, the healthcare professional will inspect the genitals and address any symptoms the patient is experiencing. For individuals assigned female at birth (AFAB), the physician may examine for atypical vaginal discharge or red spots on the walls of the vagina and cervix. For ones assigned male at birth (AMAB), the clinician may inspect the penis for symptoms of irritation or discharge.
Microscopic Examination: A sample of vaginal fluid for women or a swab from inside the penis (urethra) for men may be collected and examined under a microscope. No additional testing is needed if the parasite Trichomonas Vaginalis can be spotted under the microscope. However, if the parasite is not discovered, but the provider suspects Trichomoniasis, more testing may be conducted.
Laboratory Testing: Various laboratory tests can be done to diagnose Trichomoniasis. These tests include:
- Rapid Antigen Test: This test identifies particular antigens generated by the Trichomonas vaginalis parasite.
- Nucleic Acid Amplification Test (NAAT): NAATs identify the parasite’s genetic material (DNA or RNA).
- Swab Analysis: A swab collected from the vagina or penis is tested in a laboratory to check for symptoms of Trichomoniasis infection.
Trichomoniasis is a sexually transmitted illness that requires treatment with medications.
- Metronidazole: The recommended first-line treatment for Trichomoniasis is Metronidazole, which is quite successful if taken correctly. Treatment can be administered throughout pregnancy. Most patients take Metronidazole twice daily for 5 to 7 days. Patients with an IgE-mediated-type hypersensitivity response to 5-Nitroimidazole antimicrobials should be handled by Metronidazole desensitization according to established regimens and in collaboration with an allergy expert.
- Tinidazole: Alternatively, Tinidazole can be used as an alternate therapy.
A repeat course of the same regimen is indicated if treatment failure occurs. If no re-exposure has occurred, the patient should be treated with Metronidazole or Tinidazole 2 g once a day for 7 days. It is vital to take all the medicine as the doctor suggests to ensure the infection is entirely cured.
Even if you’ve received therapy that eliminates Trichomoniasis, it’s possible to develop it again if exposed to someone with the condition. Therefore, sexual partners need to be treated as well to prevent reinfection.
Here are some preventive measures to avoid contracting Trichomoniasis:-
- Abstinence: The best strategy to avoid Trichomoniasis or any STI is not to have vaginal, oral, or anal intercourse.
- Safe sex: If you have sex, minimize your chance of developing an STI by wearing a condom appropriately every time you have sex.
- Regular check-ups: If you’re sexually active, opt for regular sexual health check-ups and routine STD tests.
- Treatment: If you have Trichomoniasis, you must be treated with antibiotics. Your partner also need to be treated, and you should not have sex until you and your partner complete taking all of the antibiotics and have no symptoms.
- Clean sex toys: If you’ve been diagnosed with Trichomoniasis, ensure any sex toys you’ve used are cleaned.
Avail the best Trichomoniasis testing at Affordable Rapid Testing, Arizona
The CDC advises screening for Trichomoniasis in women at greater risk for infection, particularly those with new or many sexual partners or a history of sexually transmitted infections. Affordable Rapid Testing is one of the reputed walk-in STD clinics that provides females with rapid Trichomoniasis antigen testing, with the results accessible in 10 minutes.
The test is highly sensitive, with a sensitivity of around 70%. If left untreated, Trichomoniasis can progress to pelvic inflammatory disease, which can have consequences linked to fertility or persistent discomfort. With just a mere search of ‘trich testing near me,’ you can find the Affordable Rapid Testing labs at Phoenix and Scottsdale and get Trichomonas testing.