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Trichomoniasis

What is trichomoniasis?
This infection, caused by a protozoa, affects both women and men. It's usually spread through sexual contact; rarely it can be transmitted by sharing contaminated wet towels or clothing. Hot tubs can be a source of contamination if not cared for properly.

For women, potential complications of infection include inflammation of the uterus or Fallopian tubes, miscarriage, premature birth or ectopic (tubal) pregnancy. It may be associated with infertility. While men can transmit trichomoniasis, the risks to their health are uncertain.

How do I know if I have trichomoniasis?
Many infected women have no symptoms. If symptoms are present, they usually appear four to 28 days after exposure and include itching, burning, painful urination and redness of the genital area. There may be abnormal vaginal discharge with a foul odor.

Most infected men have no symptoms; some may experience penile discharge, discomfort while urinating, and a tingling or itching sensation inside the penis.

How is trichomoniasis diagnosed?
Diagnosis includes a physical examination and a culture or microscopic examination of infected genital fluids.

How is trichomoniasis treated?
Infected persons and their sexual partner(s) should be treated with a complete course of a specific antibiotic. Abstaining from vaginal, oral or anal intercourse is advised during treatment.