What are the Symptoms of Trichomoniasis?

Marco Sumayao

Symptoms of trichomoniasis in women include vaginal discharge, itching, and pain during urination. In men, symptoms of trichomoniasis include discharge, pain, and scrotal swelling. In some cases, however, the condition does not show any symptoms.

Men with trichomoniasis can experience an infection of the urethra that causes pain while urinating.
Men with trichomoniasis can experience an infection of the urethra that causes pain while urinating.

Trichomoniasis is a sexually-transmitted disease (STD) caused by the protozoan Trichomonas vaginalis. The parasitic infection most often takes place in the vagina or in urethral tissue, although men are also susceptible to the disease. Most reported cases of the disease occur in women, and chief among the symptoms is the production of abnormal vaginal discharge, which is often pungent and might cause itching in and around the vagina. The color of the discharge ranges from yellow to yellow-green, although the vaginal infection might also result in grayish green coloring. Due to the nature of the parasite, the discharge is typically frothy, often foaming out of the infected individual's vagina.

One of the most discomforting symptoms of trichomoniasis is the pain an individual might experience during urination. The infection can cause swelling and tenderness in the urethra, putting greater pressure on the area than normal. As the urethral muscles tighten during urination, the resulting stress can cause a significant amount of pain in the patient.

The symptoms of trichomoniasis in men are similar. The penis can produce a like discharge as a result of the parasite, while an infection in the urethra results in pain during urination. Men with trichomoniasis can also suffer from swelling in their scrota if the infection finds its way into the epididymis. The swelling can result in a significant amount of pain and discomfort, especially when the scrotum is compressed during movement.

Treating the symptoms of trichomoniasis can be done in the home. The disease is considered one of the most curable STDs, and can be eliminated by administering antibiotics. Oral antibiotics such as metronidazole are the most popular treatments, removing the symptoms of trichomoniasis in as little as seven days. For pregnant women, topical medications like clotrimazole are often prescribed to avoid any risks to the developing fetus, although these treatments have a much lower success rate.

More important than treatment, however, is prevention. Women should visit their gynecologists at least twice a year to monitor for any symptoms of trichomoniasis or other diseases. Despite a much higher occurrence in women, men should also be regularly monitored for the condition. Men typically don't show any symptoms of trichomoniasis and might unwittingly infect a sexual partner. Using condoms can also help prevent a partner's infection.

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