Trichomoniasis: The most common curable STD

Trichomoniasis: The most common curable STD

Trichomonas Vaginalis

The most common curable sexually transmitted disease is trichomoniasis, which is caused by an infection of the protozoan parasite trichomonas vaginalis.  Even though this is the most common STD, that is curable, most people have never heard of this disease or infection.  That is largely due to the fact that trichomoniasis symptoms are pretty much non-existent.  It is estimated that upwards of 3.7 million people are infected with trichomonas vaginalis in the United States alone.  Of people that contract trichomoniasis, women are the majority though men can certainly become infected as well.  Older women are more often infected than younger women.

Trichomoniasis is a parasite and is most often contracted through sexual intercourse.  The most common infected part of the body in women is their lower genital tract which includes the urethra, vulva and vagina.  The urethra is the most common infected region in men.  Infections targeting other areas of the body are not common, including the mouth and anus.  It should be noted that although the most common way to contract trichomonas vaginalis is through male and female sexual contact, it is possible to contract the parasite from vagina to vagina contact.

Though this STD is not considered nearly as serious nor does it have as serious long term consequences if left untreated as other STDs such as syphilis or chlamydia, having the trichomonas vaginalis parasite can put you at an increased risk to contract or spread HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.  This is because one of the trichomoniasis symptoms is inflammation and having inflammation on the genitals can leave you more prone to contracting other diseases and infections.  All pregnant women should be tested for trichomoniasis as this infection has been shown to make women more prone to having a premature birth, leading to low birth weights in infants and sometimes even slow development.

There is no way to diagnose Trichomoniasis based on symptoms alone.  A laboratory test is needed to confirm the trichomonas vaginalis infection.  See my review of the top 3 online std testing services here.

 

Trichomoniasis Symptoms

Of the 3.7 million people that are thought to be infected with the trichomonas vaginalis parasite, only approximately 30% of them will develop trichomoniasis symptoms.  This is a large reason why people have never heard of this STD, because they’ve never heard about the symptoms.  So about 70% of people infected won’t even show any signs or symptoms of being sick.  For those 30 percent of people who are lucky enough to have trichomoniasis symptoms it will usually include some inflammation.  This can range from mild to severe.  Men who have trichomoniasis might have some itching or burning sensation inside the penis, accompanied with a burning feeling after ejaculation or urination.  Unusual discharge may also occur.

Trichomoniasis symptoms in women are similar to those of men.  In addition to the symptoms experienced by men, women may notice some soreness or redness of the genitals and a discharge that has a distinct unusual odor.  The discharge can range in color from clear, white, greenish or yellowish.  An overall unpleasantness during sex can also be an indicator of infection, (though maybe your partner isn’t exactly rocking your world).

Trichomoniasis symptoms can come and go with really no distinct pattern of showing.  For some people symptoms are only present within a few weeks of becoming infected, others show symptoms off an on for years or until infection is finally treated.

 

Trichomoniasis Treatment

If you are going to contract one STD in your life, you’d be lucky to have it be this one.  Trichomoniasis treatment is easy, it’s curable with a single dose of antibiotics.  The drug of choice is Flaygl (metronidazole) or tinidazole.  These antibiotics come in tablet form and can be taken by mouth, even by pregnant women.  Just because this is an easily treatable and curable infection does not mean you cannot contract the parasite agian after treatment.  In fact nearly one out of every five people who are treated for the trichomonas vaginalis parasite get reinfected in three months or less.  To avoid being part of this high reinfection rate, have your partners tested for STD’s with a simple and cheap service such as STDTestExpress.com.  This isn’t the only STD that has virtually no symptoms, many STD’s can produce no symptoms at all which is why the CDC recommends annual testing of STD’s for everyone that is sexually active, especially young adults.

 

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