Most men with trichomoniasis do not have signs or symptoms; however, some men may have an irritation inside the penis, mild discharge, or slight burning after urination or ejaculation.
Some women have signs or symptoms of infection which include a frothy, yellow-green vaginal discharge with a strong odor. The infection also may cause discomfort during intercourse and urination, as well as irritation and itching of the female genital area. In rare cases, lower abdominal pain can occur. Symptoms usually appear in women within 5 to 28 days of exposure.
Trichomoniasis is the most common curable STD in young, sexually active women. An estimated 7.4 million new cases occur each year in women and men.
Trichomoniasis is caused by the single-celled protozoan parasite. The vagina is the most common site of infection in women, and the urethra (urine canal) is the most common site of infection in men. The parasite is sexually transmitted through penis-to-vagina intercourse or vulva-to-vulva (the genital area outside the vagina) contact with an infected partner. Women can acquire the disease from infected men or women, but men usually contract it only from infected women.
Anyone sexually active person who has unprotected sex increases their risk of trichomoniasis infection.
The surest way to avoid transmission of sexually transmitted diseases is to abstain from sexual contact, or to be in a long-term mutually monogamous relationship with a partner who has been tested and is known to be uninfected.
Latex male condoms, when used consistently and correctly, can reduce the risk of transmission of trichomoniasis.
Avoiding alcohol and drug use may also help prevent transmission of trichomoniasis (or any other STD) because these activities may lead to risky sexual behavior. It is important that sex partners talk to each other about their HIV status and history of other STDs so that preventive action can be taken.
Any genital symptom such as discharge or burning during urination or an unusual sore or rash should be a signal to stop having sex and to consult a health care provider immediately. A person diagnosed with trichomoniasis (or any other STD) should receive treatment and should notify all recent sex partners so that they can see a health care provider and be treated. This reduces the risk that the sex partners will develop complications from trichomoniasis and reduces the risk that the person with trichomoniasis will become re-infected. Sex should be stopped until the person with trichomoniasis and all of his or her recent partners complete treatment for trichomoniasis and have no symptoms.
Trichomoniasis can usually be cured with prescription drugs given by mouth in a single dose. The symptoms of trichomoniasis in infected men may disappear within a few weeks without treatment. However, an infected man, even a man who has never had symptoms or whose symptoms have stopped, can continue to infect or re-infect a female partner until he has been treated. Therefore, both partners should be treated at the same time to eliminate the parasite. Persons being treated for trichomoniasis should avoid sex until they and their sex partners complete treatment and have no symptoms.
Having trichomoniasis once does not protect a person from getting it again. Following successful treatment, people can still be susceptible to re-infection.
Fact Sheet: http://www.cdc.gov/std/trichomonas/stdfact-trichomoniasis.htm
En Espanol: http://www.cdc.gov/std/Spanish/STDFact-Trichomoniasis-s.htm
Last Updated On December, 18, 2010