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What is trichomoniasis?
Trichomoniasis is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) caused by the protozoal organism Trichomonas vaginalis.
How common is trichomoniasis?
It is the most common non-viral sexually transmitted infection worldwide. The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) data from 2001-2004 estimates that the overall prevalence of trichomoniasis in the US is 3.1% among women of reproductive age between 14-49 years.1 An estimated 7.4 million new cases of trichomoniasis occur every year in the United States.2 It is thought to be the second most frequently occurring STI in the US, behind HPV infection.3
How is trichomoniasis spread?
Trichomoniasis is usually spread through vaginal intercourse.
Does trichomoniasis cause symptoms?
Trichomoniasis does not cause symptoms in many infected people. About 85% of males4,5 & 50% to 80%6 of females have no symptoms of the infection.
What are the symptoms of trichomoniasis?
The most common symptom is vaginal discharge. Some infected females experience genital itching, frothy vaginal discharge, painful urination, and painful intercourse. Some infected males experience painful urination, discharge, itching and irritation of the urethra and tip of the penis.
Are there any available treatments for trichomoniasis?
Trichomoniasis can be treated with oral medications, often with only one dose. However, many people never seek treatment because they do not experience any symptoms of the infection. Without treatment, the infection continues to be spread between sexual partners.
What complications can result from trichomoniasis?
Trichomoniasis does not cause as many serious long-term complications as several other STIs do. But there are notable exceptions, especially as it involves pregnant women and the spread of HIV.
If a mother has trichomoniasis during pregnancy, the baby is more likely to be born early and to have a low birth weight. The infection can also be passed to the baby during childbirth.
Trichomoniasis also increases a person’s chances of acquiring HIV (see below.)
Does trichomoniasis affect the spread of HIV?
Yes. Like many other STIs, trichomoniasis can increase the risk of getting HIV from an infected sexual partner by 2- to 3- fold.4,7 This is very important, because trichomoniasis is such a common infection.
Can trichomoniasis be prevented?
Yes; refraining from sexual activity until a person is within a lifelong, faithful relationship with an uninfected partner can prevent the sexual transmission of trichomoniasis.
1. Sutton M, Sternberg M, Koumans EH, McQuillan G, Berman, S, Markowitz LE. The prevalence of Trichomonas vaginalis infection among reproductive-age women in the United States, 2001–2004. Clin Infect Dis. 2007;45(10):1319-1326.
2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Trichomoniasis – CDC Fact Sheet. Available at:http://www.cdc.gov/std/trichomonas/STDFact-Trichomoniasis.htm. Accessed December 27, 2011.
3. Weinstock H, Berman S, Cates W Jr. Sexually transmitted diseases among American youth: incidence and prevalence estimates, 2000. Perspect Sex Reprod Health. 2004;36(1):6-10.
4. Sorvillo F, Smith L, Kerndt P, Ash L. Trichomonas vaginalis, HIV, and African-Americans. Emerg Infect Dis. 2001;7(6):927-932.
5. Schwebke JR, Hook EW III. High rates of Trichomonas vaginalis among men attending a sexually transmitted diseases clinic: implications for screening and urethritis management. J Infect Dis. 2003;188(3):465-468.
6. Wendel KA, Erbelding EJ, Gaydos CA, Rompalo AM. Use of urine polymerase chain reaction to define the prevalence and clinical presentation of Trichomonas vaginalis in men attending an STD clinic. Sex Transm Infect. 2003;79(2):151-153.
7. Van Der Pol B, Kwok C,Pierre-Louis B, et al. Trichomonas vaginalis infection and human immunodeficiency virus acquisition in African women. J Infect Dis 2008;197:548-554.
Article from www.medinstitute.org