In women, the lower genital tract (the vulva, vagina, cervix, or urethra) becomes infected. In men, the urethra is the most commonly affected area. Although uncommon, it is still possible for the parasite to affect other body parts, such as the hands, mouth, and anus.
Currently, it is not yet known why some infected persons are asymptomatic. But it is likely dependent on factors such as one’s age and general state of health. Asymptomatic persons are still able to pass on the infection to others, further emphasizing the need for trichomoniasis treatment.
Complications and Diagnosis
Because some people are asymptomatic, it may be difficult to diagnose trichomoniasis. Its symptoms are similar to other sexually transmitted infections and diseases.
If you suspect that you are infected and require trichomoniasis treatment, a healthcare professional will examine your genital area.
In men, the doctor will examine the penis for any inflammation or trichomoniasis discharge. Urine samples may also be collected.
After the physical examination, the doctor may collect a sample by swabbing the vagina or penis. This sample will be analyzed under a microscope or in a clinic to determine infection.
If it is suspected that you are infected, you may be given instructions to start a course of trichomoniasis treatment. This ensures that the infection is treated immediately, and the risk of passing it on to others is reduced.
What are the Complications of Trichomoniasis?
Trichomoniasis, although easily treatable, must not be taken lightly. If the disease is not addressed immediately, trichomoniasis can increase the risk of contracting or spreading other sexually transmitted infections. For example, trichomoniasis can cause genital inflammation, which makes a person more susceptible to HIV.
It also makes a woman susceptible to having pelvic inflammatory disease, an infection of the upper reproductive organs.
How Does Trichomoniasis Affect Pregnant Women?
Pregnant women with trichomoniasis may be at risk of having their babies born too early (preterm delivery). These babies are more likely to have a low birth weight (less than 5.5 pounds).
Treatment and Prevention
Trichomoniasis can be treated with metronidazole or tinidazole. Both medications are pills that are taken orally. Metronidazole may be taken by pregnant women as they pose a low risk to the baby. But before taking any medication, always consult your doctor.
Trichomoniasis treatment allows symptoms to disappear, which usually occurs in about a week. Get tested after two weeks to 3 months after completion of treatment to make sure you have not been reinfected.
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