Everything you need to know about the sexually transmitted infection
Trichomoniasis, also known as trich, is a highly common sexually transmitted infection, with the CDC estimating that over two million trichomoniasis infections were reported in 2018 in the United States alone.
SYMPTOMS AND SIGNS
As with many other sexually transmitted infections, trichomoniasis can often be asymptomatic, with around 70% of infected people not presenting with any signs or symptoms. However, in those that develop symptoms, they can range from mild to severe and can present anywhere from five to 28 days after contracting the infection. Signs and symptoms in both men and women may include:
- Irritation, burning, or irritation of the genitals,
- Discharge from the genitals
- Discomfort when peeing
- Unpleasant and uncomfortable sensations during sex
HOW IS TRICHOMONIASIS SPREAD
Trichomoniasis is exclusively spread through sexual contact, and can be passed from one sexually active person to another by having sex without a condom with a partner who has the infection. Trich may also be spread by sharing sex toys that have not been washed.
In women, the trich infection primarily affects the vagina and the urethra, whereas, in men, trich most commonly infects the urethra. However, in some cases, the head of the penis or the prostate gland may become infected, causing more severe symptoms if left untreated.
To avoid trich infections, a condom should be worn during sexual contact, or both sex partners should receive treatment at the same time to prevent reinfection. Regular testing is also important to prevent long-lasting effects of sexually transmitted infections.
The treatment of trich comprises oral medication and is the most common curable sexually transmitted infection. What’s more, the treatment for trich is also safe for pregnant people. It is important to remember that, even if you receive and complete your treatment for trich, you are still susceptible to contracting it again, with reinfection occurring in an estimated one in five people within three months after treatment.
Even if you present with symptoms, like all other sexually transmitted infections, the only way to confirm that you have trichomoniasis is to get tested. Healthcare providers are not able to diagnose this infection based on symptoms alone, which is why it is crucial that you get in touch with a healthcare professional if you suspect you have trich. STD testing is an important and regular part of taking care of your health and is quick and typically painless.