What is trich or Trichomoniasis?
Trichomoniasis is common and curable sexual transmitted disease that lack any symptoms, but it can be cured with the use of antibiotics. Trich is caused by a microscopic parasite called trichomona that gets transmitted from one person to another during unprotected sex, through sexual fluids such as pre-cum, semen and vaginal fluids that gets or inside the penis, vulva, or vagina.
How is trich transmitted?
Females are at higher risk to be infected by trich. That is since the parasite it mostly transmitted during vaginal sex, but also with vulva-to-vulva contact, sharing sex toys, and touching your own or your partner’s genitals if you have infected fluids on your hand. But the parasite can also infect other areas of the body like the penis and urethra, however if will not infect the mouth or anus.
A person may be unaware that he or she is infected and continue to re-infect a sexual partner who is having recurrent signs of infection.
The parasite does not get transmitted through casual contact, sharing food, kissing, hugging, toilet seats or coughing.
What are the symptoms of trich?
Most people with trich will not know they have it as there are hardly any symptoms. But females might develop vaginitis. Vaginitis is then the vagina becomes irritated.
For both sexes there can also be a case of infection of the urethra (that is the tube you pee out of). If this is the case, then there can be irritation, itching, smelly discharge and painful urinating. The infection may also lead to unbearable inflammation.
Testing for trich
The best test to diagnose the infection is by doing a microscopic examination of the vaginal or urethral discharge. There the lab will be looking for the parasite, Trichomonads, looks like pear-shaped and have several whip like tails at one end.
Other tests include a pelvis exam. Here the doctor inserts a speculum into the vagina and then uses a cotton-tipped applicator to collect a sample.
The doctor may also order a lab test, such as a DNA test or a fluid culture. A culture tests uses urine or a swab from your vagina. The parasite then grows in a lab. It takes up to a week for the parasite to grow enough to be seen.
Once you have been diagnosed you should notify all recent sex partners so they can come in to be tested and treated as well.
Are there treatment for this infection?
Trichomoniasis is easily treated. You doctor will prescribe you antibiotic medications. Antibiotics may cure the infection, but the infection may come back even after you are complete with the treatment. Also since infected male partners often do not have any symptoms, they do not seek medical care. It is important, however, that all sexual partners are evaluated and treated. Otherwise the person may become reinfected.
Furthermore, there are no effective home remedies for trichomoniasis infection.
If your symptoms clear after you have completed treatment you do not have to return for follow-up tests or exams. However, in certain instances you may need to return to your doctor or clinic, such as the following:
- Your symptoms have not cleared after the full course of antibiotics
- You have unprotected sex before you finish the course of antibiotics
- If you don’t complete the course or didn’t take the medicine as instructed
- If your symptoms remain even after antibiotic treatment you will need an exam and further testing to see if another STD is responsible. You also may need a higher dose or a different antibiotic.
What are the possible complications of Trich?
This STD can lead to complications, such as vaginitis.
A trichomoniasis infection causes inflammation in tissue lining the inside of your vagina and/or urethra. The inflammation makes it easier for other organisms such as the HIV virus to infect the genital area. It also makes it easier for you to pass the HIV virus on to another partner.
Trichomonas infection is associated with an increased risk of premature birth and infants with low birth weight. Moreover, infants born to mothers with Trichomonas infection are more than twice as likely as infants born to uninfected women to be stillborn or to die as new-borns
The use of condoms during sex is advised.