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What Is Trichomoniasis?

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Trichomonas vaginalis

Story at-a-glance -

  • Trichomoniasis is a common and curable sexually transmitted infection (STI) that affects at least a million new Americans yearly
  • Men and women can be affected with this STI, and may see initial indicators in their genitals
  • If left untreated, trichomoniasis may spiral into devastating complications

Trichomoniasis is a common and curable sexually transmitted infection (STI) that’s responsible for infections in 1 million Americans yearly. This STI occurs because of a parasite called Trichomonas vaginalis. In women, trichomoniasis may be called vaginitis,1 since it causes soreness, itching, burning or pain in the vagina.2,3

Where Does Trichomoniasis Strike?

This STI affects both men and women. Men develop the infection inside the penis or urethra, while women notice the infection in the vagina, vulva, cervix or urethra — body parts found in the lower genital tract.4

However, do not be confused with the urethra of the male and female reproductive systems, since they differ from each other. In males, the urethra is longer, enables the urine to move out of the body and transports semen. Meanwhile, the urethra in females is shorter and is found above the vagina.5

Typical Signs of Trichomoniasis

Men with trichomoniasis might notice discharge from their penis,6 endure a burning sensation during urination or after ejaculation, feel the urge to urinate more frequently,7 or sense irritation or itching inside the urethra.8

Women, on the other hand, may feel an increased urge to urinate and experience genital burning, itching, redness or swelling. They may suffer from pain during urination or sexual intercourse, or see white, gray, yellow or green vaginal discharge that’s frothy and smells foul or fishy.9,10

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes that trichomoniasis doesn’t cause symptoms in the mouth, hands or anus, unlike other STIs that can spread to these body parts.11

Complications of Trichomoniasis

If left untreated, trichomoniasis may spiral into devastating complications, such as having a higher risk of other STIs, increased chances of passing STI-causing pathogens to another person or genital inflammation that could make a person more susceptible to other STIs.12 Untreated trichomoniasis can also raise the risk for pelvic inflammatory disease (PID),13 fallopian tube blockage14 or infertility.15

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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Trichomoniasis: Introduction

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Trichomoniasis In Men and Women

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