Early Signs and Symptoms of Trichomoniasis

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Trichomoniasis is a sexually transmitted disease (STD). It is one one the most common STDs and may be referred to as “trich.” The symptoms include itching, irritation and discharge in women, and pain with urination in men. It is caused by a parasite, can be diagnosed with a physical exam and a microscopic analysis, and is treatable with Flagyl (metronidazole), an antimicrobial.

The symptoms of trichomoniasis may begin between several days to a month after you become infected, and there can even be a delay of several months before symptoms even surface. In fact, many people do not have symptoms at all, but can still spread the infection to others.

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Symptoms in women are usually more noticeable than the symptoms in men. Women generally experience symptoms of trichomoniasis within 1 to 4 weeks of initial infection. The symptoms of trichomoniasis in women include:

  • Irritation and itching of the vagina and surrounding area
  • Frothy, colored vaginal discharge
  • Strong vaginal odor
  • Pain with intercourse
  • Pain when urinating

Complications in Women

  • Trichomoniasis can negatively affect the outcome of a pregnancy. Pregnant women infected with the parasite are more likely to have a pre-term birth and are more likely to give birth to a low birth weight baby.

Most men with trichomoniasis don’t have any symptoms. When they do, their symptoms are generally mild and include:

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  • Pain when urinating.
  • Pain when ejaculating.
  • Discharge.
  • The discomfort of the penis.

Trichomoniasis and HIV

If you have trichomoniasis, you are more susceptible to infection by HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. If you are HIV positive, trichomoniasis also makes it more likely that you will pass HIV to your sexual partners. There is a stronger association between trichomoniasis and HIV for women than there is for men. 

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