St. Luke's Hospital
Main Number: 314-434-1500 Emergency Dept: 314-205-6990 Patient Billing: 888-924-9200
Find a Physician Payment Options Locations & Directions
Follow us on: facebook twitter Mobile Email Page Email Page Print Page Print Page Increase Font Size Decrease Font Size Font Size
America's 50 Best Hospitals
Meet the Doctor
Spirit of Women
Community Health Needs Assessment
Home > Health Information

Multimedia Encyclopedia

    Print-Friendly
    Bookmarks

    Trichomoniasis

    Trichomonas vaginitis; STD - trichomonas vaginitis; STI - trichomonas vaginitis; Sexually transmitted infection - trichomonas vaginitis

    Trichomoniasis is a sexually transmitted infection caused by the parasite Trichomonas vaginalis.

    Causes

    Trichomoniasis is found worldwide. In the United States, the highest number of cases are seen in women between age 16 and 35. Trichomonas vaginalis is spread through sexual contact with an infected partner. This include penis-to-vagina intercourse or vulva-to-vulva contact. The parasite cannot survive in the mouth or rectum.

    The disease can affect both men and women, but the symptoms differ between the two groups. The infection usually does not cause symptoms in men and goes away on its own in a few weeks.

    Symptoms

    Women:

    • Discomfort with intercourse
    • Itching of the inner thighs
    • Vaginal discharge (thin, greenish-yellow, frothy or foamy)
    • Vaginal itching
    • Vulvar itching or swelling of the labia
    • Vaginal odor (foul or strong smell)

    Men:

    • Burning after urination or ejaculation
    • Itching of urethra
    • Slight discharge from urethra

    Occasionally, some men with trichomoniasis may develop prostatitis or epididymitis from the infection.

    Exams and Tests

    In women, a pelvic examination shows red blotches on the vaginal wall or cervix. A wet prep (microscopic examination of discharge)may show signs of inflammation or infection-causing organisms in vaginal fluids. A pap smear may also diagnose the condition.

    The disease can be hard to diagnose in men. Men are treated if the infection is diagnosed in any of their sexual partners. Men may also be treated if they have ongoing symptoms of urethral burning or itching despite treatment for gonorrhea and chlamydia.

    Treatment

    The antibiotic metronidazole is commonly used to cure the infection. A newer drug, called Tinidazole may be used.

    You should not drink alcohol while taking the medicine and for 48 hours afterwards. Doing so can cause severe nausea, abdominal pain, and vomiting.

    Avoid sexual intercourse until treatment has been completed. Sexual partners should be treated at the same time, even if they have no symptoms. If you have been diagnosed with a sexually transmitted infection, you should be screened for other ones.

    Outlook (Prognosis)

    With proper treatment, the outcome is likely to be excellent.

    Possible Complications

    Long-term infection may cause changes in the tissue on the cervix. These changes may be seen on a routine Pap smear. In such cases, treatment should be started and the Pap smear repeated 3 to 6 months later.

    Treatment of trichomoniasis helps prevents the spread of the disease to sexual partners. Trichomoniasis is common among persons with HIV.

    This condition in pregnant womenhas been linked to premature birth. More research is needed.

    When to Contact a Medical Professional

    Call for an appointment with your health care provider if any unusual vaginal discharge or irritation is noted.

    Also call for an appointment if you suspect that you have been exposed to the disease.

    Prevention

    A monogamous sexual relationship with a known healthy partner can help reduce the risk of sexually transmitted infections, including trichomoniasis.

    Other than total abstinence, condoms remain the best and most reliable protection against sexually transmitted infections. Condoms must be used consistently and correctly to be effective.

    References

    Schwebke JR. Trichomonas vaginalis. In: Mandell GL, Bennett JE, Dolin R, eds. Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases. 7th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Elsevier Churchill Livingstone; 2009:chap 281.

    Telford SR III, Krause PJ. Babesiosis and other protozoan diseases. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 361.

    BACK TO TOP

    • Normal uterine anatomy (...

      illustration

      • Normal uterine anatomy (...

        illustration

      Tests for Trichomoniasis

        Review Date: 10/6/2012

        Reviewed By: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. Jatin M. Vyas, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor in Medicine, Harvard Medical School; Assistant in Medicine, Division of Infectious Disease, Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc.

        The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
        adam.com

        A.D.A.M. content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Fire Fox and chrome browser.


        Back  |  Top
        About Us
        Contact Us
        History
        Mission
        Locations & Directions
        Quality Reports
        Annual Reports
        Honors & Awards
        Community Health Needs
        Assessment

        Newsroom
        Services
        Brain & Spine
        Cancer
        Heart
        Maternity
        Orthopedics
        Pulmonary
        Sleep Medicine
        Urgent Care
        Women's Services
        All Services
        Patients & Visitors
        Locations & Directions
        Find a Physician
        Tour St. Luke's
        Patient & Visitor Information
        Contact Us
        Payment Options
        Financial Assistance
        Send a Card
        Mammogram Appointments
        Health Tools
        My Personal Health
        mystlukes
        Spirit of Women
        Health Information & Tools
        Clinical Trials
        Health Risk Assessments
        Employer Programs -
        Passport to Wellness

        Classes & Events
        Classes & Events
        Spirit of Women
        Donate & Volunteer
        Giving Opportunities
        Volunteer
        Physicians & Employees
        For Physicians
        Remote Access
        Medical Residency Information
        Pharmacy Residency Information
        Physician CPOE Training
        Careers
        Careers
        St. Luke's Hospital - 232 South Woods Mill Road - Chesterfield, MO 63017 Main Number: 314-434-1500 Emergency Dept: 314-205-6990 Patient Billing: 888-924-9200
        Copyright © St. Luke's Hospital Website Terms and Conditions  |  Privacy Policy  |  Patient Notice of Privacy Policies PDF Sitemap St. Luke's Mobile