TRICHOMONIASIS SYMPTOMSThe most common symptoms associated with trichomoniasis include a distinct change in the odor, color and consistency of vaginal discharge, pain during urination, painful sexual intercourse, vaginal itching, vaginal irritation and obvious inflammation, and occasional light vaginal bleeding. The discharge associated with trichomoniasis can be greenish, foul smelling, and even a bit frothy. Patients infected with trichomoniasis have no doubt there is a need for medical attention.
A common, single cell parasite known medically as Trichomonas is passed from one partner to the female partner where it inhabits the inside of the vagina and causes an infection.
Men often carry the parasite, but the parasite does not cause any symptoms in the male urethra. The parasite Trichomonas can be passed from man to woman as well as from woman to woman.
TRICHOMONIASIS DIAGNOSISDiagnosing trichomoniasis generally involves a physical examination, a thorough medical history, a pelvic examination, and a swab of the discharge which is analyzed by a laboratory. Due to the frothy green discharge and the noticeable foul smelling odor associated with trichomoniasis most gynecologists are able to determine this type of vaginitis without a vaginal swab but often take one simply to confirm the diagnosis.
TRICHOMONIASIS COMPLICATIONSThere are very few complications associated with trichomoniasis. Women who are pregnant and who have contracted trichomoniasis often deliver prematurely and have low birth weight babies. As with all sexually transmitted disease, women with trichomoniasis are at an increased risk for contracting additional sexually transmitted diseases and HIV.
TRICHOMONIASIS CAUSESTrichomoniasis is caused by a parasite. This means the only effective treatment for this type of vaginitis is an anti-parasitic medication. The most commonly prescribed medication for this type of vaginitis is a tablet form of metronidazole. Treating the inflammation, pain, and burning can often be done with a topical cream however, patients should always consult with their physician before applying anything including douches to the vaginal area while undergoing treatment for trichomoniasis.
TRICHOMONIASIS TREATMENTPatients should avoid irritants during treatment. The use of tampons, douche, hot baths, whirlpools, and Jacuzzis can add to the irritation and burning sensation. The consumption of yogurt can help ward off further yeast infections. Patients should always wipe from back to front after urinating, which is extremely important when fighting a trichomoniasis infection or any form of vaginitis.
While it is suggested that sexual activity be restricted during treatment to avoid pain and the spreading of trichomoniasis, women who remain sexually active should insist on a male latex condom and female to female protection as well such as dental dams and female condoms. Wearing cotton undergarments such as full cotton underwear (thongs should be avoided) and pantyhose equipped with a cotton crotch can help alleviate discomfort.
It is not uncommon for women with a vaginal condition to contract additional vaginal conditions or sexually transmitted diseases while undergoing treatment for the vaginal condition. Extra precautions should be taken when engaging in sexual intercourse. Women who are in the third trimester of pregnancy risk passing on infections to their newborns if giving birth with vaginitis. Gynecologists and obstetricians should take additional precautions in patients with vaginitis.