Trichomonas - Symptoms & Treatment
Vaginitis can also result from reduced estrogen levels after menopause. Trichomonas vaginalis is a microscopic parasite found worldwide. Infection with Trichomonas is called trichomoniasis (trick-oh-moe-nye-uh-sis) Trichomonas is a protozoan, which is a tiny germ, similar to bacteria. That is, the vagina and urethra in women, and the urethra and sometimes the prostate gland in men. This is an infection caused by a tiny parasite found in the vagina and urethra ("water pipe"). It is sometimes called TV. First discovered in 1836, it has proven to be quite a common sexually transmitted disease. It is found in 50% - 75% of prostitutes and 5% - 15% of women seen in gynecology clinics. In areas of Africa,where the infection rate remains high, epidemiological studies have indicated an association between the incidence of TV and HIV. Other studies have indicated a relationship with cervical neoplasia. Infections, even those which are asymptomatic, are always treated, usually with metronidizole. Trichomoniasis is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases, mainly affecting sexually active women. In North America, it is estimated that more than 8 million new cases are reported yearly. The infection does not usually go further into the body and so does not tend to be as serious as other sexually transmitted infections. The exact number of cases in the UK is not known, but it is uncommon.
Symptoms of Trichomonas
Some Symptoms of Trichomonas :
- Discomfort with intercourse.
- Slight discharge from urethra.
- Vaginal itching
- Itching of urethra.
- Greenish-yellow, frothy or foamy, vaginal discharge with a foul or strong smell.
- Burning after urination or ejaculation.
- Itching of the inner thighs.
- Labial swelling or vulvar itching.
Treatment of Trichomonas
- Relapses can occur and are usually due to re-infection from sexual partners who have not been adequately treated.
- Trichomonas vaginitis is easily treated and cured with antibiotics - usually a 1 or 7 day course of a drug called metronidazole (Flagyl). This drug is relatively safe but adverse side affects can occur.
- Systemic treatment is important to ensure a cure because trichomoniasis is an infection of multiple sites (eg, vaginal epithelium, Skene glands, Bartholin glands, urethra).