Trichomoniasis

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.

Symptoms

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.

Diagnosis

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

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 concurrently treated.

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