- A clear, green, yellow, gray, frothy vaginal discharge
- The vaginal discharge often has a bad or fishy smell
- Blood in the vaginal discharge
- Swelling around the genitals
- Itching and/or irritation in and around the vagina
- Pain during intercourse
- Pain or burning while passing urine
- Frequent urge to pee
The signs of trichomoniasis are often ignored or mistaken for a urinary tract infection (UTI). The signs and symptoms may come and go, but the infection may persist. You can spread the infection even when you don’t have any symptoms. You must get yourself tested if you think you have been exposed to the infection. Your doctor will prescribe medications, if you are infected, to get rid of the infection.
What is trichomoniasis?
Trichomoniasis or Trich is a type of sexually transmitted disease (STD) caused by a parasite, Trichomonas vaginalis. It is the commonest curable STD. The parasite can infect both men and women, however, the infection is more common in women than in men. Trichomoniasis is more common in older women. Almost 70% of infected people have no symptoms. The symptoms at times are very mild, especially in males, and go unnoticed.
The symptoms usually start from the third day to a month after getting the infection. The most common symptom in women is vaginitis or the inflammation and irritation of the vulva and vagina.
How do you get trichomoniasis?
You can get trichomoniasis by having unprotected sexual contact with a person who has the infection. The infection can spread when cum (semen), precum, and vaginal fluids come in contact with the penis, vulva, or vagina. The body part most infected with trichomoniasis in men is the inside of the penis (urethra). The infection can spread from the penis to the vagina or from the vagina to the penis. The infection can also spread through vulva-to-vulva contact. Trichomoniasis can also spread by sharing sex toys or touching the genitals if the hands have the infected fluids on them.
The parasite rarely infects other body parts, such as the hands, mouth, or anus. The infection does not spread through casual contacts, such as sharing food or drinks, hugging, kissing, holding hands, coughing, sneezing, or toilet seats.
Around 70% of the infected people do not have any symptoms, but they can transmit the infection to others. Amongst those who get symptoms, the disappearance of symptoms does not mean the infection is gone. Getting tested and treated is the only way to get rid of trichomoniasis.
What are the symptoms of trichomoniasis in men?
Most men do not get any signs. Some may develop very mild symptoms, which may be ignored. The typical symptoms of trichomoniasis in men include:
- Irritation or itching inside the penis
- Burning or pain after urination or ejaculation
- Discharge from the penis
- Frequent urge to pee
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