Women's Health
Trichomoniasis
​​Overview:
  • Trichomoniasis is a common sexually transmitted infection caused by a parasite.
  • It can affect both individuals of both genders, but is more common among women (especially older women).
  • In most cases, trichomoniasis does not show any signs or symptoms.
  • Trichomoniasis is sexually transmitted; and the best way to avoid it is to maintain safe sexual intercourse.
  • Trichomoniasis can easily be diagnosed and treated, and are not usually associated with serious health complications.
Introduction:
Trichomoniasis is a sexually transmitted infection that affects the genitals area. Regarded as one of the most common parasitic infections, it affects individuals of both genders. However, it is common among women, and occurs more commonly in older women.

Names:
Trichomoniasis, Trich, STD

Cause:
Trichomoniasis is caused by a one-celled protozoan, a type of tiny parasite that travels between people during unprotected sexual intercourse. It can be transmitted from male to female, or among females (vagina to vagina).
  • In women: The most vulnerable area is the lower reproductive system (vagina, cervix or urinary tract).
  • In men: Trichomoniasis commonly affects the inner penis (urinary tract). 
  • The parasite never affects other body parts (e.g. hands, mouth or anus).

Risk factors:
  • Having multiple sex partners
  • Previously suffering other sexual infections 
Symptoms:
Some individuals infected with trichomoniasis may show symptoms; others may not. And the infection may be transmitted from an infected person who does not experience any symptoms. The symptoms, if any, range from a mild irritation to a severe inflammation, including the following:
  • In women:
    • Profuse vaginal discharge (yellow-green or gray discharge), sometimes bloody and foul-smelled
    • Foul-smelled vaginal discharge
    • Urinary tract inflammations
    • Lower abdominal pain
    • Pain and burn during urination, and abnormally frequent urination
    • Pain during sexual intercourse
    • Itching, redness or pain in the genital organs
  • In men:
    • Itching and irritation inside the penis
    • A burn after urination or ejaculation
    • In very rare cases, testicle pain
    • Some secretions in the urinary tract
Trichomoniasis symptoms are similar to the symptoms or other sexually transmitted infections.

When to see a doctor?
If the above-mentioned symptoms begin to show in men or women.
Complications:
  • Developing trichomoniasis-associated complications is very rare. However, it puts the infected person at higher risk of HIV, or transmitting HIV to the sex partner. If a pregnant woman is infected with trichomoniasis, she will be at risk of the following complications: 
  • Preterm birth
  • Low birth weight
  • Infection transmission to the baby during delivery
Diagnosis:
  • Clinical examination
  • Laboratory tests: Urinalysis, and analysis of a sample taken from the vagina or penis (both spouses should undergo these tests)
The symptoms alone are not enough to diagnose trichomoniasis.

Treatment:
Trichomoniasis is usually treated with a complete course of oral antibiotics. Both spouses (and not the infected individual only) should be treated, and stop sexual contact throughout the treatment period.

Prevention:
  • Maintain safe, protected sexual contact;
  • Avoid sexual contact on the onset of trichomoniasis symptoms;
  • Undergo a medical checkup for sexually transmitted diseases (STD).
FAQ:
  • Can the trichomoniasis-infected individual resume sexual life after recovery?
    • Yes, certainly.
  • Are there any guidelines to follow when infected with trichomoniasis?
    • The infected individual carries the parasite, and can transmit infection to other through sexual contact, even after the disappearance of symptoms (as long as not soundly treated). Therefore, it is advisable to:
      • Do the necessary checkup, and get the appropriate treatment (even in cases where no symptoms show):
      • Make sure that both spouses (and not the infected individual only) are treated against trichomoniasis;
      • Avoid sexual intercourse throughout the treatment period.
  • How long does the parasite remains alive outside the body (for example, on cloths)?
    • The parasite remains alive outside the body, on a humid surface, for a few hours.

Myths & Truths
  • Trichomoniasis infection can be transmitted on a wide scale in various ways.
    • Truth: Trichomoniasis cannot be transmitted by sharing foods or drinks, exchanging kisses or hugs, coughing, sneezing or toilet use.

Clinical Education General Department
For inquiries, contact us by email.



Content Evaluation
Reading times
Last Update 31 December 2019 08:17 AM
Do you find this content useful? Yes No Suggest
Satisfaction of visitorsA sign of happiness
Satisfaction of visitors Completely satisfied Satisfied Neutral Not Satisfied Completely dissatisfied
This site can be viewed on all screen tones and all smart devices and supports all kinds of browsers
All Rights Reserved – Ministry of Health – Kingdom of Saudi Arabia ©