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Trichomoniasis

Trichomoniasis is a common sexually transmitted disease (STD) that affects both women and men, although symptoms are more common in women. Trichomoniasis is caused by the single-celled protozoan parasite, Trichomonas vaginalis. The vagina is the most common site of infection in women, and the urethra (urine canal) is the most common site of infection in men. The parasite is sexually transmitted through penis-to-vagina intercourse or vulva-to-vulva (the genital area outside the vagina) contact with an infected partner. Women can acquire the disease from infected men or women, but men usually contract it only from infected women. Most men with trichomoniasis do not have signs or symptoms; however, some men may temporarily have an irritation inside the penis, mild discharge, or slight burning after urination or ejaculation. Some women have signs or symptoms of infection which include a frothy, yellow-green vaginal discharge with a strong odor. The infection also may cause discomfort during intercourse and urination, as well as irritation and itching of the female genital area. In rare cases, lower abdominal pain can occur. Trichomoniasis in pregnant women can cause complications for the fetus, including premature birth. Trichomoniasis can usually be cured with the prescription drug, metronidazole, given by mouth in a single dose. Persons being treated for trichomoniasis should avoid sex until they and their sex partners complete treatment and have no symptoms.

The surest way to avoid transmission of sexually transmitted diseases is to abstain from sexual contact, or to be in a long-term mutually monogamous relationship with a partner who has been tested and is known to be uninfected. Latex male condoms, when used consistently and correctly, can reduce the risk of transmission of trichomoniasis.

 

For more information:

CDC trichomoniasis fact sheet:
http://www.cdc.gov/std/trichomonas/STDFact-Trichomoniasis.htm

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