Trichomonas Testing, Diagnosis & Treatment

Trichomonas is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) that is caused by a parasite known as Trichomonas Vaginalis. Despite its name being associated with the vagina, Trichomonas is an infection that affects both men and women.

Although not as well-known as some other STIs such as Chlamydia or Gonorrhoea, Trichomonas is none-the-less a common infection and the rate of incidence is increasing. In some instances (particularly with men) Trichomonas is symptomless. In the majority of cases women do exhibit symptoms.

One of the biggest concerns with a Trichomonas infection is that it makes it easier to contract other more serious STIs. It also increases the risk of contracting an HIV infection.

Trichomonas in women

If left untreated Trichomonas in women can cause:

  • Adverse outcomes of pregnancy
  • Cervical tumours
  • Infertility
  • Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
  • Various post-operative infections

The symptoms of Trichomonas in women

 Trichomonas can sometimes be symptomless in women, although that is not the case in the majority of instances. Where symptoms do materialise they include:

  • Bleeding after intercourse
  • Itchiness, a burning sensation, or soreness in the vagina
  • Pain during intercourse
  • Pain when urinating
  • Pain in the lower abdomen
  • Vaginal discharge (bloody, greenish/yellow, or frothy)
  • Vaginal odour (mustiness)

Trichomonas in men

As stated earlier Trichomonas in men is normally symptomless. When symptoms do present however they are often those of Urethritis and can include:

  • Itchiness, a burning sensation, or soreness in the urethra
  • Pain during ejaculation
  • Pain when urinating
  • Pain in the lower abdomen
  • Penile discharge
  • Testicular pain

When men do display symptoms they are sometimes self-healing.

How Trichomonas is spread

Trichomonas is spread by having unprotected sex, that is to say sex without wearing a condom. It can also be transmitted through using so-called “wet” sex toys. Another potential way of spreading the parasite is via towels or underwear.

General opinion is that Trichomonas is not passed on through anal or oral sex, or other social activities such as cuddling, kissing, or sharing things like cups, cutlery or plates. Neither is it believed to be transmittable via toilet seats.

Diagnosing Trichomonas

Diagnosing Trichomonas can be a tricky business as it exhibits symptoms that are similar to other STIs. To get a successful diagnosis you should visit your GP, attend a genitourinary medicine (GUM) clinic, or for maximum discretion and privacy – a private clinic like Broadgate Clinic London Wall.

A simple visual examination of the genital area may be enough for a medical professional to diagnose Trichomonas, but given the similarities it has to other types of STI it is safer to have a specific test by way of a swab being taken from the penis or vagina. In men a simple urine test may be sufficient.

Treatment of Trichomonas

A Trichomonas infection does not normally go away without medical treatment. The usual prescribed treatment is a course of antibiotics with Metronidazole being the particular medicine usually recommended. It can be taken in tablet form twice per day full for between 5 or 7 days or until the recommended course has been completed.

Metronidazole is not normally recommended for pregnant women or nursing mothers. It may also have side effects which include nausea and vomiting. If you do experience side effects, the physician who prescribed the medicine can prescribe an alternative.

Private walk in STI clinic London

If you live and/or work in London, for ultimate privacy and discretion, why not make use of the private walk in STI clinic London operated by Broadgate Clinic London Wall? You can call in without having to make a prior appointment anytime between 08:00 and 18:30 on Mondays to Thursdays and 08:00 to 17:03 on Fridays. If you prefer to make a prior appointment the number to call is 020 7638 4330.