Trichomoniasis, sometimes referred to as "trich", is a common cause of
vaginitis. It is a sexually transmitted disease. It is caused by the single-celled protozoan parasite
Trichomonas vaginalis. Trichomoniasis is primarily an infection of the urogenital tract; the most common
site of infection is the urethra and the vagina in women.
Typically, only women experience symptoms associated with Trichomonas
infection. Symptoms include inflammation of the cervix (cervicitis), urethra (urethritis), and vagina
(vaginitis) which produce an itching or burning sensation. Discomfort may increase during intercourse and
urination. There may also be a yellow-green, itchy, frothy foul-smelling vaginal discharge. In rare cases, lower
abdominal pain can occur. Symptoms usually appear in women within 5 to 28 days of exposure.In many cases women
may hold the parasite for some years without any signs (dormant). The parasite can be transmitted through oral
or anal sex.
Trichomoniasis is diagnosed by visually observing the trichomonads via a
microscope. In women, the doctor collects the specimen during a pelvic examination by inserting a speculum into
the vagina and then using a cotton-tipped applicator to collect the sample. The sample is then placed onto a
microscopic slide and sent to a laboratory to be analyzed. An examination in the presence of
trichomoniasisptaulas may also reveal small red ulcerations on the vaginal wall or cervix.
Treatment for both pregnant and non-pregnant patients usually utilizes
metronidazole (Flagyl) 2000 mg by mouth at once. Sexual partners, even if asymptomatic, should be