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S E X U A L L Y   T R A N S M I T T E D   D I S E A S E S:
Trichomonas


What is it? Trichomonas (or trich) is a highly contagious microscopic parasite (organism that feeds on a "host" organism). Trichomonas infects both the male and female genital organs.

Trichomonas
Courtesy of Atlas of Medical Parasitology and the
Carlo Denegri Foundation, used by permission.

How do you get it? Trichomonas is transmitted from person to person in several ways:

  • Mostly spread through unprotected sexual contact (vaginal, oral, or anal) with someone who has trichomonas.
  • The trichomonas parasite can live outside the body for several hours and can be spread by sharing damp washcloths, towels, toilet seats, etc. with an infected person.

Using condoms provides some but not complete protection from trich.

What are the symptoms? Women and men have different symptoms from trichomonas.

WOMEN:

  • Inflammation of the genitals (itching and burning)
  • It hurts to pee and you have to do it a lot
  • Vaginal smelly discharge (thick, yellow, brownish, or green-grey liquid)
  • Redness of the vaginal area
  • Discomfort during intercourse
  • Pain in the lower abdomen
  • Symptoms tend to worsen after menstruation

Some or none of these symptoms may appear and a woman can still have trichomonas.

MEN: Usually don't have symptoms, but if they do, they include:

  • It hurts to pee
  • Pus-like or watery discharge from the penis
  • Tingly feeling inside the penis

Some or none of these symptoms may appear and a man can still have trichomonas.

How can you know for sure? A sample of discharge is sent to a medical lab for testing.

How is it treated? Trichomonas can be treated with antibiotics which can have the side effects of nausea, vomiting, and headaches. Even after symptoms of trichomonas go away, the infected person must complete all medication or the infection may flare up again. All other sexual partners should be treated at the same time because the infection can spread or partners can reinfect one another.

What can happen if you don't take care of it? Discomfort will get worse. The infection can spread to other sexual partners.

UNPROTECTED SEX PUTS YOU AT RISK FOR GETTING TRICHOMONAS.

 

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