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Understanding Trichomoniasis -- the Basics

Trichomoniasis -- an infection from a parasite spread primarily through sexual intercourse -- is contagious but curable. An estimated 7.4 million new cases of this sexually transmitted disease occur each year in men and women. In the majority of men, it doesn't cause symptoms, which makes it notoriously difficult to diagnose. However, women usually  have symptoms more frequently, which may include genital discomfort and vaginal discharge. A woman's symptoms may be more pronounced right after menstruation or during pregnancy. 

Left untreated, the parasite may infect tissues throughout the urinary tract and reproductive system. In women, vulnerable sites for infection include the vagina, urethra, cervix, and bladder. In men, the infection may spread to the urethra and the prostate gland, seminal vesicles, and epididymis.

Recommended Related to Sexual Conditions

Understanding Female Sexual Problems -- Prevention

If you're a woman wanting to prevent sexual problems, avoid alcohol and recreational drugs that can lessen sexual desire or impair your sexual response. Keep existing medical conditions such as diabetes under control.  Discuss side effects of medications with your doctor or pharmacist in case an alternative with fewer sexual effects is available. Relaxed, clear teaching to promote understanding of one's body and of sexual functioning, emphasizing the importance and normalcy of sexuality, is critical...

Read the Understanding Female Sexual Problems -- Prevention article > >

Genital inflammation caused by trichomoniasis can increase a woman's risk of getting HIV (human immunodeficiency virus), which can lead to AIDS. If a woman is already infected with HIV, there may also be an increased risk of infecting her sex partner with HIV.

 

What Causes Trichomoniasis?

The culprit behind trichomoniasis is a protozoan parasite called Trichomonas vaginalis, which usually is transmitted sexually. Transmission is through penis to vagina or vulva to vulva (the genital area outside the vagina).

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Trina Pagano, MD on April 10, 2014

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