Trichomoniasis is an STD (sexually transmitted disease, also known as a venereal disease) which can be spread through unprotected sex. After a few weeks, unpleasant symptoms can arise that mainly affect women. Trichomoniasis can be treated well with medication.
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What is trichomoniasis?
The STD trichomoniasis is caused by the trichomoniasis vaginalis parasite. This organism settles in the mucous membranes of the urethra, vagina or bladder.
After an infection with the trichomoniasis parasite, there are no immediate symptoms. Many people do not even know they are infected with the STD. This allows them to pass the disease on to others undetected.
If symptoms do appear after some time, this mainly happens in women, but men can also suffer from a trichomoniasis infection. In general, trichomoniasis is a non-hazardous STD. However, this condition may cause complications in pregnant women.
Trichomoniasis can be recognised by specific symptoms. The average incubation period for this STD is 1 to 4 weeks, so an infection is not immediately noticeable. Sometimes it can even take years. Many men don't get any trichomoniasis symptoms at all. Women often get symptoms from this STD.
Trichomoniasis smell and other trichomoniasis symptoms in women:
- Sensitive, itchy, inflamed vagina and/or labia;
- Pain during sex;
- Increased amount of vaginal discharge. This is often yellow-green in colour and foamy. Discharge may also have a foul smell due to trichomoniasis;
- Pain and/or burning sensation when urinating;
- During pregnancy: greater risk of premature birth or low birth weight for the baby.
In women, the STD can be contagious for months or even years.
Trichomoniasis in men: specific trichomoniasis symptoms in men:
- Discharge from the penis. The discharge is quite watery and white in colour;
- Inflammation of the glans of the penis;
- Pain and/or a burning sensation when urinating.
In men, symptoms usually disappear after about five weeks. Once this happens, there is no further risk of contagion.
You can contract trichomoniasis by having unsafe sex, i.e. without a condom. Infection occurs when the mucous membranes of the genitals come into contact with each other. The parasite is also found in pre-cum, semen and vaginal secretions.
Trichomoniasis is transmitted through vaginal sex. With anal and oral sex, there is zero risk of trichomoniasis infection.
Safe sex is the best way to prevent a trichomoniasis infection, so always use a condom.
Trichomoniasis symptoms are similar to the symptoms of other conditions such as chlamydia, bacterial vaginosis or gonorrhea. An STD test will help determine whether you have trichomoniasis.
If you have trichomoniasis symptoms, do a test as soon as possible. An STD test is recommended if you don’t have a regular partner and have had unprotected sex. Always get tested if you have had sexual contact with someone who (in hindsight) appears to be infected with trichomoniasis.
Trichomoniasis testing is carried out by a doctor. Men only need to provide a urine sample. In women, a swab of mucus is taken from the vagina. The sample is then examined in a laboratory to detect the presence of the trichomoniasis parasite.
You can also choose to do a self-test for trichomoniasis. If your trichomoniasis test result is negative but problems persist you should seek medical advice.
If the result is positive, seek treatment. If you have become infected with trichomoniasis, you are more likely to have contracted other venereal diseases. So get yourself tested for other STDs as well.
Note: the trichomoniasis incubation period
Note: Trichomoniasis is only detectable from 4 weeks after infection, so don't test too early; this may give a false negative result.
If you have a variety of symptoms immediately after a possible infection, it is often possible to test earlier. A doctor or pharmacist can advise you on this.
What to do if you have trichomoniasis?
Get treatment as soon as possible if you are carrying the trichomoniasis parasite. This prevents the disease from spreading. You should also inform anyone you had sexual contact in the month before you tested positive. It is important that they also get tested.
Trichomoniasis is caused by a parasite. Doctors fight this STD agent with antibiotics. These drugs kill the trichomoniasis vaginalis parasite.
In standard trichomoniasis treatment, a specific type of antibiotic is usually used, namely:
- Metronidazole. Trichomoniasis antibiotic treatment with this drug usually lasts only 1 day in the form of several capsules or tablets.
Usually your partner will also receive treatment, even if they have no symptoms.
Trichomoniasis antibiotics: important information
Keep the following in mind during trichomoniasis treatment:
- The drug metronidazole reacts very strongly to alcohol. This combination can cause serious side effects. You should therefore avoid drinking alcohol for three days after taking this medicine;
- Medicines against trichomoniasis can cause side effects. In most cases, these include headaches, gastrointestinal problems, a metallic taste in the mouth and dizziness. Do not forget to read the information leaflet provided with the medicine. Here, you will find more information about the use of antibiotics and the possible side effects;
- Take all prescribed tablets/capsules. If you don’t take enough, the infection can return;
- Consult a doctor if you experience any side effects from the drug;
- You can still be contagious for a week after the treatment. You should therefore avoid having sex during that week;
- A course of antibiotics only helps against a current infection. After treatment, you can contract trichomoniasis again if you have unprotected sex with an infected person. Therefore, always use a condom.
Trichomoniasis prescription medication
Many drugs against trichomoniasis require a prescription. You can request a suitable course of treatment at Dokteronline. Your application will be assessed by a doctor based on the medical questionnaire you have completed. A written prescription will then be forwarded to a pharmacy, after which the prescribed medication will be discreetly delivered to your home.
Do you have questions about trichomoniasis or trichomoniasis treatment? Then consult a doctor or pharmacist.