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What is trichomoniasis?

Trichomoniasis is a sexually transmitted infection and is caused by a protozoan parasite, Trichomonas vaginalis.

How common is trichomoniasis?

World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that in 2012, 142 million new cases of trichomoniasis happened among adults and youth aged 15–49 years worldwide.

In the region of the Americas there were around 13.8 million new cases of trichomoniasis for females and 13.6 million for men in 2012, adding to the already around 18.8 million existing cases for females and 3.2 million existing cases for males.

Different from most STIs with number of existing cases highest in women ages 15-25 years, trichomoniasis appear to peak between 40-50 years of age.

How is trichomoniasis spread?

You can get trichomoniasis by having unprotected vaginal sex with someone who has trichomoniasis. Infections in other parts of the body such as month and anus are possible, but not common. You can still get trichomoniasis even if you had it in the past and got treatment for it. You can also spread trichomoniasis to your child during birth.

What are the symptoms of trichomoniasis?

Around 50% of women and 70-80% of men do not notice any symptoms from trichomoniasis. If you do have symptoms, they can appear in different forms. Women might notice abnormal vaginal discharge with unusual smell, genital pain or soreness, discomfort with urination and vaginal itching. Men might notice urethral discharge, burning after urination or ejaculation, and/or itching or irritation inside the penis. When infected, sex can become unpleasant.

What are the problems of trichomoniasis?

Trichomoniasis have been shown to make you more vulnerable to spreading or getting other STIs, including HIV. Trichomoniasis in pregnancy is linked with early birth and low birth weight.

How does having trichomoniasis affect a pregnant woman and her baby?

Trichomoniasis in pregnancy can lead to premature birth and low birth weight.

How is trichomoniasis diagnosed?

Diagnosis are, if possible, done in a laboratory using different samples, including urine, vaginal, cervical and urethral swabs. However, since laboratory diagnostic tests are not available in many countries, diagnosis is often made by a qualified health provider based on the presence of symptoms such as vaginal and urethral discharge.

What is the treatment for trichomoniasis?

Metronidazole 2 g in a single oral dose cures the large majority of infections. Cure rates of up to 90 % have been reported when sexual partners, who are usually asymptomatic, are treated simultaneously. Read More.