How Is Trichomoniasis Different in Men and Women?

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  • While trichomoniasis is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) that targets anyone, how men and women experience this disease can be different
  • There are more recorded hallmarks of trichomoniasis in females compared to men

While trichomoniasis is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) that targets anyone, how men and women experience this disease can be different.

Trichomoniasis is more common in women compared to men.1 In the U.S., approximately 2.3 million women between the ages of 14 and 49 are affected,2 with older women more likely to have this STI.3

In fact, a study conducted by researchers from Johns Hopkins University revealed that women over 40 years old were twice as likely to be infected.4

Trichomoniasis May Affect These Body Parts

Trichomoniasis mainly affects body parts in the male or female reproductive systems. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), males can have the infection inside the penis or in the urethra, a long tube that’s responsible for letting urine pass out of the body and carrying semen.5,6

Meanwhile, women can be infected in any of these parts of the lower genital tract: vulva, vagina, cervix or urethra. The female urethra shouldn’t be confused with the male urethra, as it is actually shorter and found above the vagina.

Other Differences of This STI in Men and Women

Trichomoniasis symptoms are not the same in men and women. There are more recorded hallmarks of trichomoniasis in females compared to men.7

Diagnosing trichomoniasis may also be different for men and women, since some tests would require examination of vaginal fluid from women or urethral discharge from men.8 Furthermore, the duration of testing may also be longer for men, because it’s more difficult to see the parasite that causes trichomoniasis in male samples.9

Extra Precautions Are Needed for Pregnant Women to Avoid Complications

A pregnant woman who has been diagnosed with trichomoniasis may experience complications that may put her and her child’s life at risk. At least 124,000 pregnant women are infected with this STI annually,10 which can be alarming, since trichomoniasis during pregnancy increases the possibilities of:11,12

Having the water break too early, or premature rupture of the membranes

Bleeding because of cervical inflammation13

Undergoing a preterm delivery, or giving birth too early (before 37 weeks)

Bearing a child with a low birth weight (usually less than 5.5 pounds)

Plus, trichomoniasis may be transmitted to the baby via when he or she moves through the birth canal, although this happens rarely.14

MORE ABOUT TRICHOMONIASIS

Trichomoniasis: Introduction

What Is Trichomoniasis?

Trichomoniasis In Men and Women

Trichomoniasis Symptoms

Trichomoniasis Causes

Trichomoniasis Treatment

Trichomoniasis Prevention

Trichomoniasis FAQ

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