Trichomoniasis is a sexually-transmitted disease (STD) that is caused by a microscopic parasite termed Trichomonas vaginalis. This single-celled microbe is usually present in the vagina and also in the urethral tissues. Though commonly associated with women, uncircumcised men are also infected. In such a case, the tip of the penis gets infected. Also called “trich”, this disease typically affects the genitourinary tract of women.
The major symptoms of trich disease include vaginitis, cervicitis and urethritis. Vaginitis relates to a burning sensation and severe itching at the vagina. Inflammation of the cervix is called as cervicitis, where as urethritis relates to an inflamed urethra. Intercourse becomes extremely painful and in later stages vaginal discharge occurs with a strong odor. In most women, if infected with Trichomonas vaginalis, the vaginal discharge is likely to become frothy and deep yellowish green in colour. Symptoms of this disease usually get manifested within a month of exposure to infection. In some women, the symptoms are seen within five days of exposure also.
Generally, no body symptoms are seen in an infected male. However, slight irregularities are found in certain cases. Some men may feel an irritation within the penis. Mild discharge and slight burning sensation during ejaculation and urination are also found in certain people.
Trichomoniasis makes a person more prone to the transmission of HIV. Moreover, a pregnant woman infected with ‘trich’ disease might deliver a low-birth-weight or premature infant.
The diagnosis of trichomoniasis is done by examining the specimen sample collected from vagina. A microscopic observation of the sample is enough for diagnosis. The treatment of this disease involves the utilization of metronidazole (Flagyl). The same medication is provided for both pregnant and non-pregnant women. The course of medication usually takes ten days to be completed. Since this is a sexually-transmitted disease, sexual partners of the infected person also need to be simultaneously treated to be on the safer side.