The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that trichomoniasis, also known commonly as trich, is the most common curable STD in the U.S. An estimated 3.7 million Americans have the infection but many do not realize it. This infection is far more common in women than it is in men.
According to the CDC, only about 30% of people that have trichomoniasis have any symptoms. Most males with trichomoniasis do not show any signs. However, some males may have a temporary irritation inside the penis, mild discharge or notice a slight burning after urination or ejaculation. In men, the most commonly infected body part is the inside of the penis, or the urethra.
Infection is more common in women. Older women are more likely than younger women to have been infected with trichomoniasis. The parasite passes from an infected person to an uninfected person during sex. In women, the most commonly infected part of the body is the lower genital tract which includes the vulva, vagina, cervix and urethra. It is not common for the parasite to infect other body parts such as the hands, mouth or anus.
Women who are experiencing symptoms of trich may notice an itching, burning or soreness of the genitals. Other symptoms may include a change in vaginal discharge or a discomfort with urination. It isn’t known why some people have symptoms and others do not. Infected people without symptoms can still pass the infection onto others.
It is important for women who are pregnant to test for trichomoniasis. Trich can cause babies to be born prematurely or with low birth weight. Women in the first three months of pregnancy should not take medicine for trich because it might hurt the unborn child. If you are concerned you may be pregnant and you may also have been exposed to trichomoniasis you should tell your doctor. They are qualified to recommend an appropriate treatment.
Trichomoniasis is a curable STD. It is usually treated with antibiotics, however, it is possible to get infected with trich again. Since symptoms of the parasite are not always present, having trich testing performed is often the only way to determine if you are infected. Having a full STD testing panel performed can help you become aware of the current status of your sexual health.