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November 29, 2010

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Trichomoniasis, sometimes referred to as “trich” or “fishy fanny syndrome” because of the smell associated there-with, is a common cause of vaginitis. It is a sexually transmitted disease. It is caused by the single-celled protozoan parasite Trichomonas vaginalis by producing mechanical stress on host cells and then ingesting cell fragments after cell death [1] Trichomoniasis is primarily an infection of the urogenital tract; the most common site of infection is the urethra and the vagina in women. 


Typically, only women experience symptoms associated with Trichomonas infection. Symptoms include inflammation of the cervix (cervicitis), urethra (urethritis), and vagina (vaginitis) which produce an itching or burning sensation. Discomfort may increase during intercourse and urination. There may also be a yellow-green, itchy, frothy foul-smelling vaginal discharge. In rare cases, lower abdominal pain can occur. Symptoms usually appear in women within 5 to 28 days of exposure.[2] In many cases women may hold the parasite for some years without any signs (dormant). While symptoms are most common in women, some men may temporarily exhibit symptoms such as an irritation inside the penis, mild discharge, or slight burning after urination or ejaculation.[3]


Trichomoniasis is diagnosed by visually observing the trichomonads via a microscope. In women, the doctor collects the specimen during a pelvic examination by inserting a speculum into the vagina and then using a cotton-tipped applicator to collect the sample. The sample is then placed onto a microscopic slide and sent to a laboratory to be analyzed. An examination in the presence of trichomoniasisptaulas may also reveal small red ulcerations on the vaginal wall or cervix.

Trichomoniasis is a sexually transmitted infection (or sexually-transmitted disease, STD) caused by a protozoan (a microscopic parasite), usually found in the vagina and urethral tissues. Although this condition is most often treated in women, men can also be infected (and often have no symptoms).

Causes and risk factors

Trichomonis can be transmitted through sexual intercourse. In many instances, however, a history compatible with sexual transmission cannot be documented. While trichomoniasis is usually passed sexually, it may be picked up from contact with damp or moist objects such as towels, wet clothing, or a toilet seat, if the genital area gets in contact with these damp or moist objects. Unlike most STDs, the parasite can live for about an hour on damp towels, washcloths and bathing suits. If someone uses these towels or washcloths or puts on the bathing suit, the disease may be passed on that way. The good news is that trichomoniasis is curable but often goes undiagnosed because symptoms may not be noticed or even experienced.


Treatment for both pregnant and non-pregnant patients usually utilizes metronidazole[5] (Flagyl) 2000 mg by mouth at once. Sexual partners, even if asymptomatic, should be concurrently treated.[6]

Although both men and women are susceptible to suffer the infection, it is suspected that more than one half of men who are infected will naturally expel the parasite within 14 days[7], while in women it will persist unless treated.


Research has shown a link between trichomoniasis and two serious sequelæ. Data suggest that:

  • Trichomoniasis is associated with increased risk of transmission of HIV.
  • Trichomoniasis may cause a woman to deliver a low-birth-weight or premature infant.
  • Trichomoniasis is also associated with increased chances of cervical cancer
  • Evidence implies that infection in males potentially raises the risks of prostate cancer development and spread due to inflammation. [8]

Additional research is needed to fully explore these relationships.

Prevalence and prevention

The American Social Health Association estimates trichomoniasis affects 7.4 million previously unaffected Americans each year and is the most frequently presenting new infection of the common sexually transmitted diseases.[9]

Use of male condoms may help prevent the spread of trichomoniasis,[10] although careful studies have never been done that focus on how to prevent this infection. Infection with Trichomoniasis through water is unlikely because Trichomonas vaginalis dies in water after 45-60 minutes, in thermal water after 30 minutes to 3 hours and in diluted urine after 5-6 hours.[6] Treatment is usually Metronidazole.[11]

External links

Source: Wikipedia – Trichomoniasis


From → vaginitis

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