Trich (pronounced “trick”) or Trichomoniasis, is by far, the most common non-viral sexually transmitted infection (STI) worldwide, caused by the single-celled protozoan parasite, Trochomonas vaginalis. There is an estimated 7.4 million cases in the US each year compared to the most common bacterial infection, Chlamydia, which has 2.8 million new cases each year. Roth, et al. Trich is an infection that affects both men and women. With such high rates, it is important to understand this infection.
Six Bits to know about Trich
- 70% of those infected with Trich have no symptoms. Of the 30% that do have symptoms: Men will experience burning after urination or ejaculation and itching or irritation inside the penis. Women will experience a watery, green, yellow or grey discharge, odor, vaginal itching or irritation, pain during sex and burning during urination.
- According to the Centers for Disease Control, Trich is transmitted sexually from an infected person to an uninfected person, from penis to vagina or vagina to penis, or vagina to vagina. It is not common for the parasite to infect other body parts, like the hands, mouth or anus. CDC.
- Simple, accurate testing is available for both men and women. A urine sample is used for testing in men, and a vaginal swab is used in testing women.
- Trich can be treated with a prescribed antibiotic called Metronidazole (Flagyl). It is important to finish the treatment and abstain from sexual activity until treatment is completed by you and your sex partners.
- Having a Trich infection produces inflammation in the infected area which makes it easier for your body to become infected with the HIV virus or to pass on the HIV virus to your sex partner.
A Trich infection during pregnancy may lead to preterm labor or may be the cause of a low birth weight baby. Therefore, it is important for pregnant women to be screened and appropriately treated for Trich during pregnancy.
If you’re single, abstain from sexual activity. If you get married, be faithful. If you haven’t had sex (vaginal, oral or anal), your chances of getting an STI are small. Already had sex? Get checked out by your doctor and return to an abstinent lifestyle until you’re in a lifelong, faithful, monogamous relationship. The Medical Institute