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Trichomoniasis (often called trich) is a sexually transmitted disease. It is caused by a parasite called Trichomonas vaginalis, which is a protozoa made of just one cell.[1] Trichomoniasis can affect both men and women. It is usually an infection of the urinary system and genitals.

Cause[change | change source]

The Trichomonas vaginalis parasite can only live in the human genital tract. Trichomoniasis is only spread through sex, or if two people's genitals touch.[2]

Signs and symptoms[change | change source]

Most people with trichomoniasis do not have any symptoms.[3]

When people do have symptoms, they usually start about 5 to 28 days after the person got infected. Symptoms may include:[4]

Complications[change | change source]

Complications are serious problems that can happen because a person has a disease. These problems do not happen to everyone with trichomoniasis. They are the most serious problems that trichomoniasis can cause. Some of the most dangerous problems that can happen to a person with trichomoniasis include:

  • People with trichomoniasis are more likely to get (or spread) HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.[5][6]
  • If a woman is pregnant, trichomoniasis can cause her to have a premature infant, or an infant that weighs less than normal.[5]
  • Trichomoniasis may work together with human papillomavirus (HPV) to cause cervical cancer, although this has not been proven.[7]
  • In men, trichomoniasis can cause inflammation (swelling) of the urethra and the prostate. In the prostate, trichomoniasis may create chronic (long-term) inflammation that may eventually cause prostate cancer.[8][9]

Treatment[change | change source]

Treatment for trichomoniasis is usually metronidazole (Flagyl), which kills protozoa like Trichomonas vaginalis.[10] However, this medication has to be used carefully with woman who are in the early stages of pregnancy.[11] Anyone the infected person has had sex with should also get treatment, even if they have no symptoms.[12]

About 95% to 97% of people with trichomoniasis are cured after one dose of metronidazole.[13][14]

Without treatment, trichomoniasis can stay in a woman's body for months to years. In many (but not all) men, it seems to go away on its own.[5]

Prevention[change | change source]

Trichomoniasis can be prevented by having safe sex (for example, by using condoms).[15]

The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests that women who are having vaginal discharge should get tested for trichomoniasis.[13]

How common is trichomoniasis?[change | change source]

Trichomoniasis is the most common sexually transmitted disease in the world that is not caused by a virus. Every year, about 248 million more people get trichomoniasis.[16][17] It is more common in women than men.[18]

It is also the most common non-viral sexually transmitted disease in the United States. In the U.S., about 3.7 million people have trichomoniasis, and about 1.1 million more people get infected every year.[19][20] Recent research has said that 3% of the U.S. population (3 in every 100 people) have trichomoniasis.[21][22] In people who are at higher risk of getting trichomoniasis, like people with HIV and people in prison, between 7.5% to 32% are infected.[23][24][25][26][27][28][29][30]

Related pages[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

  1. Midlej V., Benchimol M. (2010). "Trichomonas vaginalis kills and eats- evidence for phagocytic activity as a cytopathic effect". Parasitology 137 (1): 65–76. doi:10.1017/S0031182009991041. PMID 19723359.
  2. "Trichomoniasis - CDC Fact Sheet". Retrieved 12 January 2011.
  3. "STD Facts - Trichomoniasis".
  4. Trichomoniasis symptoms.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Secor W, Meites E, Starr M, Workowski K (2014). "Neglected parasitic infections in the United States: trichomoniasis". Am J Trop Med Hyg 90 (5): 800–804. doi:10.4269/ajtmh.13-0723.
  6. Kissinger P and Adamski A. "Trichomoniasis and HIV interactions: a review.".
  7. Donders GG (2013). "Association of Trichomonas vaginalis and cytological abnormalities of the cervix in low risk women.". 8: e86266. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0086266. PMC 3875579. PMID 24386492.
  8. Caini, Saverio; Gandini, Sara; Dudas, Maria; Bremer, Viviane; Severi, Ettore; Gherasim, Alin (2014). "Sexually transmitted infections and prostate cancer risk: A systematic review and meta-analysis". Cancer Epidemiology 38 (4): 329–338. doi:10.1016/j.canep.2014.06.002. ISSN 18777821. PMID 24986642.
  9. Stark, Jennifer R.; Judson, Gregory; Alderete, John F.; Mundodi, Vasanthakrishna; Kucknoor, Ashwini S.; Giovannucci, Edward L.; Platz, Elizabeth A.; Sutcliffe, Siobhan et al. (2009). "Prospective Study of Trichomonas vaginalis Infection and Prostate Cancer Incidence and Mortality: Physicians' Health Study". JNCI Journal of the National Cancer Institute 101 (20): 1406–11. doi:10.1093/jnci/djp306. PMC 2765259. PMID 19741211.
  10. Vaginitis/Trichomoniasis :Treatment for trichomoniasis, American Social Health Association. Retrieved March 12, 2008.
  11. Cudmore SL, Delgaty KL, Hayward-McClelland SF, Petrin DP, Garber GE (October 2004). "Treatment of infections caused by metronidazole-resistant Trichomonas vaginalis". Clin. Microbiol. Rev. 17 (4): 783–93, table of contents. doi:10.1128/CMR.17.4.783-793.2004. PMC 523556. PMID 15489348.
  12. Rob, Lukáš; Martan, Alois; Citterbart, Karel (2008) (in Czech). Gynekologie (2nd ed.). Prague: Galen. p. 136. ISBN 978-80-7262-501-7.
  13. 13.0 13.1 Workowski KA, Berman S. "Sexually transmitted diseases treatment guidelines, 2010" MMWR Recomm Rep 2010;59(RR-12):1–110.
  14. Niccolai LM, Kopicko JJ, Kassie A, Petros H, Clark RA, Kissinger P (2000). "Incidence and predictors of reinfection with Trichomonas vaginalis in HIV-infected women". Sex Transm Dis. 27 (5): 284–288. doi:10.1097/00007435-200005000-00009.
  15. Vaginitis/Trichomoniasis :Reduce your risk, American Social Health Association. Retrieved March 12, 2008.
  16. World Health Organization. Prevalence and Incidence of Selected Sexually Transmitted Infections, Chlamydia trachomatis, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, syphilis and Trichomonas vaginalis: Methods and Results Used by WHO to Generate 2005 Estimates. 2011. Available at:
  17. World Health Organization, Department of Reproductive Health and Research. Global incidence and prevalence of selected curable sexually transmitted infections – 2008. Geneva, Switzerland; 2008.
  18. Vos, T (Dec 15, 2012). "Years lived with disability (YLDs) for 1160 sequelae of 289 diseases and injuries 1990-2010: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010.". Lancet 380 (9859): 2163–96. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(12)61729-2. PMID 23245607.
  19. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, and TB. Division of STD Prevention. Trichomoniasis - CDC Fact Sheet. 2012.
  20. Satterwhite CL, Torrone E, Meites E (2013). "Sexually transmitted infections among US women and men: prevalence and incidence estimates, 2008". Sex Transm Dis. 40 (3): 187–93. doi:10.1097/OLQ.0b013e318286bb53.
  21. Ginocchio C, Chapin K (2012). "Prevalence of Trichomonas vaginalis and coinfection with Chlamydia trachomatis and Neisseria gonorrhoeae in the United States as determined by the Aptima Trichomonas vaginalis nucleic acid amplification assay". J Clin Microbiol 50 (8): 2601–2608. doi:10.1128/JCM.00748-12.
  22. Sutton M, Sternberg M, Koumans EH, Mcquillan G, Berman S (2007). "The Prevalence of Trichomonas vaginalis Infection among Reproductive-Age Women in the United". Clin Infect Dis 45: 1319–1626. doi:10.1086/522532.
  23. Rogers SM, Turner CF, Hobbs M (2014). "Epidemiology of undiagnosed trichomoniasis in a probability sample of urban young adults". PLOS ONE 9 (3): e90548. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0090548.
  24. Javanbakht M, Stirland A, Stahlman S (2013). "Prevalence and Factors Associated With Trichomonas vaginalis Infection Among High-Risk Women in Los Angeles". Sex Transm Dis. 40 (10): 804–807. doi:10.1097/OLQ.0000000000000026.
  25. Helms DJ, Mosure DJ, Metcalf C (2008). "Risk factors for prevalent and incident Trichomonas vaginalis among women attending three sexually transmitted disease clinics". Sex Transm Dis. 35 (5): 484–8. doi:10.1097/OLQ.0b013e3181644b9c.
  26. Swartzendruber A, Sales JM, Brown JL, Diclemente RJ, Rose ES (2014). "Correlates of incident Trichomonas vaginalis infections among African American female adolescents". Sex Transm Dis. 41 (4): 240–5. doi:10.1097/OLQ.0000000000000094.
  27. Muzny C, Rivers C, Austin EL, Schwebke JR (2013). "Trichomonas vaginalis infection among women receiving gynaecological care at an Alabama HIV Clinic". Sex Transm Infect 89 (6): 514–8. doi:10.1136/sextrans-2012-050889.
  28. Munson E, Kramme T, Napierala M, Munson KL, Miller C, Hryciuk JE (2012). "Female epidemiology of transcription-mediated amplification-based Trichomonas vaginalis detection in a metropolitan setting with a high prevalence of sexually transmitted infection". J Clin Microbiol 50 (12): 3927–31. doi:10.1128/JCM.02078-12.
  29. Freeman AH, Katz KA, Pandori MW, et al. Prevalence and correlates of Trichomonas vaginalis among incarcerated persons assessed using a highly sensitive molecular assay. Sex Transm Dis. 2010;37(3):165–168. doi:10.1097/OLQ.0b013e3181bcd3fc
  30. Nijhawan AE, DeLong AK, Celentano DD (2011). "The Association Between Trichomonas Infection and Incarceration in HIV-Seropositive and At-Risk HIV-Seronegative Women". Sex Transm Dis. 38 (12): 1094–1100. doi:10.1097/OLQ.0b013e31822ea147.