Trichomoniasis (aka trich) is the most common curable STD.
Millions of people get trich every year. It’s caused by a parasite that spreads really easily during sex. The parasite is carried in sexual fluids, like semen, pre cum, and vaginal fluids. Most people with trichomoniasis don’t have any symptoms and feel totally fine, so they might not even know they have it. When it does cause symptoms, the most common one is vaginitis. Vaginitis is when your vulva or vagina is irritated. Trich can also infect your urethra (the tube you pee out of). Signs of trich include irritation and itching, smelly discharge, and painful or frequent peeing. Other infections can feel like trich, so the only way to know for sure what’s going on is to see a nurse or doctor. The good news is trich is easily cured with medicine.
How do you get trichomoniasis?
A person cannot contract trichomoniasis vaginalis by physical contact such as hugging, kissing, the organism is primarily transmitted through sexual contact involving the genitals. The organism typically infects the squamous epithelial tissues of the genital tract. Trichomonas vaginalis can also be transmitted prenatally and cause respiratory and vaginal infections in neonates. Having trichomoniasis can mean one is already infected with other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) which may include Chlamydia and both are curable. However, treatment may differ. It is important therefore to have yourself tested before treatment begins so as to know the specific treatment required. Click Here to Read: All You Need to Know About Trichomoniasis
People get trich from having unprotected sexual contact with someone who has the infection. It’s spread when semen (cum), pre-cum, and vaginal fluids get on or inside your penis, vulva, or vagina. Trich is often passed during vaginal sex. It’s also spread by vulva-to-vulva contact, sharing sex toys, and touching your own or your partner’s genitals if you have infected fluids on your hand. Trich can easily infect the vulva, vagina, penis, and urethra, but it usually doesn’t infect other body parts (like the mouth or anus). Many people with trich don’t have any symptoms, but they can still spread the infection to others. So using condoms and having safer sex is the best way to prevent trichomoniasis — even if you and your partner seem totally healthy.
Can You Get Trichomoniasis From A Toilet Seat?
This is one question that many have been asking, the simple answer to this question is YES, toilet seat can spread Trichomonas vaginalis as well as many other sexually transmitted diseases. A Study published in the Indian Journal of Sexually Transmitted Disease and STD asserted that, extensive literature search showed that the nonsexual transmission of trichomonas can occur through fomites like toilet seats, swimming pools and wet towels. A classical case of such transmission is seen in the case of the Zambian adolescent virgins who showed a high prevalence of trichomoniasis, as a result of sharing of bathing water. This proves that trichomoniasis is not always sexually transmitted. This is possible because trichomonas survive best in warm or moist environments. There is a high possibility of infection being transmitted in whirlpools or similar warm public baths such as swimming pools and so women with trichomoniasis are advised to stay out of public baths so that the condition does not spread. This also explains why you can get trichomoniasis without being sexually active. Read: How Can You Get Trichomoniasis If No One Cheats?
What is the treatment for trich?
Trichomoniasis is curable with antibiotics. An antibiotic called Metronidazole (Flagyl) is usually prescribed. If you are prescribed treatment, use all the medicine prescribed, even if your symptoms go away. Your sex partners must also be treated, or you can get trich again. Don’t have sex until all partners have finished the medication.
What if I am pregnant?
Trichomoniasis can cause babies to be born early or with low birth weight. If you think you may be pregnant be sure to tell your healthcare provider. Women in the first three months of pregnancy should not take medicine for trich because it might hurt the baby. You can take medicine after the first three months. Talk to your healthcare provider about them.
What about other complications?
Having trich can make it easier to become infected with the HIV virus or to pass the HIV virus on to a sex partner.