According to a study published in the BMC Women’s Health Journal, reproductive tract infections (RTI’s) are endemic and places a heavy toll on women. If untreated, RTI’s can lead to adverse health outcomes such as infertility, ectopic pregnancy and increased vulnerability to transmission of the human immunodeficiency virus. It is also associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes.
Trichomoniasis, commonly known as trich is one of the most common non-viral sexually transmitted disease (STD) in the world. Its name comes from the parasite Trichomonas vaginalis that causes the disease. You may have trich and not know it —the infection rarely causes symptoms. Trich is contagious, which means you might unknowingly infect others through sexual contact. You may also hear STDs like trich referred to as sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
How common is trichomoniasis (trich)?
Trichomoniasis is the most common curable STD affecting both men and women in America. Approximately 3.7 million people have the disease according to Cleveland Clinic data.
Who might get trichomoniasis (trich)?
Trich affects all genders. Women (especially older women) are more likely than men to get the disease. Black women are more prone to the disease. Your risk for trich increases if you:
- Don’t use condoms while having sex.
- Have multiple sexual partners.
Is trichomoniasis (trich) contagious?
Yes, trich is very contagious. In addition to affecting the genitals, trich can also infect the anus, mouth and hands.
What causes trichomoniasis (trich)?
A parasite called Trichomonas vaginalis causes this STD. Once you’re infected, you can give trich to someone else through:
- Vaginal-penile or vaginal-vaginal intercourse.
- Anal sex.
- Oral sex.
- Genital touching (skin-to-skin contact without ejaculation).
What are the symptoms of trichomoniasis (trich)?
One reason trich spreads so easily is that a large number of infected people — up to 70% — never have symptoms. You may infect others before you know you have the disease. In fact, men rarely show any signs of infection. When symptoms occur, they tend to appear within five to 28 days after exposure. You may experience:
- Thin (or sometimes foamy) white, yellow or greenish vaginal discharge that has a bad odor.
- White discharge from the penis.
- Genital itching or irritation.
- Burning or painful urination.
- Burning after ejaculation.
- Pain or discomfort during intercourse.
Can A Woman Get Trichomoniasis On Her Own?
Yes, While trichomoniasis is almost always spread through sexual contact, a woman can also contract Trichomoniasis on her own without being sexually active. According to Healthline, there’s always a (very) slim chance that you or your partner can contract trich from the following non sexual agents:
- Toilets. Trichomoniasis can be picked up from a toilet seat if it’s damp. Using an outdoor toilet may be an added risk, since it puts you in closer contact with others’ urine and feces.
- Shared baths. In one study from Zambia, the parasite spread through bathwater that was used by multiple girls.
- Public pools. The parasite can spread if the water in the pool isn’t cleaned.
- Clothing or towels. It’s possible to spread the parasite if you share damp clothing or towels with someone.
Keep in mind that there are very few reported cases of trichomoniasis being spread through these means, but it is possible.