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Trichomoniasis

Trichomoniasis or “Trich” is a sexually transmitted infection (STD) caused by a small organism called Trichomonas vaginalis and is common in young, sexually active women. The parasite also infects men, though less frequently. The parasite can be transmitted between men and women as well as between women whenever physical contact occurs between the genital areas.

Transmission

  • Trichomoniasis (or “trich”) is a very common sexually transmitted infection (STD) that is caused by infection with a protozoan parasite called Trichomonas vaginalis
  • Trichomonas vaginalis is typically transmitted through vaginal, oral, or anal sex with an infected individual.
  • In a study titled, “Survival of Trichomonas vaginalis in human semen “, it was found that small numbers of parasites (about 2500/ml semen) incubated in semen from different donors at 37 degrees C, were found to survive or grow for up to 12 hours in all samples and for up to 24 hours in most.
  • In the males, semen will usually provide a favourable environment for these pathogens and ease their transmission during sexual intercourse.

How common

The prevalence of Trichomonas vaginalis infection in the United States is estimated to be 2.3 million (3.1%) among women ages 14-49. Women with no history of sexual intercourse can still be affected by trichomoniasis (1.0%), as can pregnant women (3.2%), and women who have ever been pregnant (4.1%).  African American women had a prevalence of 13.3%, white women prevalence of 1.3%, and Mexican American women prevalence of 1.8%.  In Africa region the prevalence is around 20%, in Asia is around 5.6%, and Europe is around 5.8%.

Chances of being infected

Trichomoniasis - Detect

Transmission rate of Trichomoniasis is quite high: 85% of females having sexual contact with infected males and approximately 80% of males having a single sexual exposure to an infected female. There are some factors to consider; sometimes trichomoniasis can be transmitted without ejaculation but only via physical genital contact.The parasite can survive for a relatively longer duration of time outside the body.

How to detect if someone has it

Only about 30 percent of people that have Trich have any symptoms. Most males with trichomoniasis do not have any signs or symptoms. Some females may have signs or symptoms which include foul smelling green, yellow or grey discharge.

Prevention

There are several ways to prevent getting Trich or spreading it to other people, use female or latex condoms every time.

Condom effectiveness

Consistent male latex condom uses can protect trichomoniasis of a similar or somewhat smaller degree, with different studies showing protection rates varying from 26% to 85%. A study titled “Prevention of vaginal trichomoniasis by compliant use of the female condom” also suggested that female condom consistent use might help reducing the risk to 14% per act of sexual intercourse for women.

Treatment

Trichomoniasis is considered the most common curable STD. Trichomoniasis is usually treated by metronidazole to get rid of the infection. These pills are taken orally. Trichomoniasis may also be treated with tinidazole.

Oral metronidazole is the treatment of choice and may be administered as either a single 2-g dose or as prolonged therapy with 500 mg twice daily for 7 days. Tinidazole (single 2-g dose) is an FDA-approved alternative to metronidazole that has been shown to be equally effective in clinical trials. All medicine mentioned here are prescription drugs.

You should not drink alcohol while taking metronidazole or tinidazole or for up to 72 hours afterward. Alcohol mixed with these medications can cause nausea and vomiting.

Best sources for more information

  • Sexual Conditions Health Center – Trichomoniasis

http://www.webmd.com/sexual-conditions/guide/trichomoniasis

  • What are some types of sexually transmitted infections or sexually transmitted infections (STDs/STDs)

https://www.nichd.nih.gov/health/topics/stds/conditioninfo/Pages/types.aspx

  • Trichomonas vaginalis Infection

http://cid.oxfordjournals.org/content/44/1/23.full

  • Global STD

http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/10665/75181/1/9789241503839_eng.pdf

  • Trichomoniasis Medication

http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/230617-medication

http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/230617-clinical

  • Wikipedia – Trichomoniasis

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trichomoniasis

The risk chart is the heart of this guide, and it can be found here

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