Facts about sexually transmitted diseases
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Trichomoniasis is a fairly “unknown” sexually transmitted infection (STI) that can have some distinctive side effects. GP Dr Sameer Sanghvi, clinical technology lead at Lloyds Pharmacy Online Doctor, had concerns that the STI is “on the rise”. Speaking to Express.co.uk, he said: “In my experience, while most people have heard of gonorrhoea, chlamydia and herpes, not many patients know about trichomoniasis (also known as trichomonas or trich).
“Unfortunately, it’s a common STI so it’s important we understand the infection and its risks.
“As an STI, trich is easy to treat.
“However, untreated, it can increase your risk of becoming infected with HIV and cause serious complications in pregnant women.
“It’s also often symptomless which means people are more likely to pass it on to others.
“I believe it’s vital people know what trich is, how it spreads, the symptoms to look out for and how testing works.”
Trichomoniasis is a sexually transmitted infection that can affect both men and women.
It is caused by a parasite called trichomonas vaginalis (TV) and is usually spread by having penetrative sex without a condom, although it can also be spread by sharing sex toys.
It’s not thought to be passed on through oral or anal sex.
Both men and women can experience swelling in their genitals as a result of trichomoniasis.
“Symptoms of trichomoniasis usually develop within a month of infection,” Dr Sanghvi said.
“However, around half of people with trichomoniasis won’t present with any symptoms.
“This doesn’t mean they’re not able to pass the infection on to others which is why testing is paramount.”
According to Dr Sanghvi, a full list of symptoms for women are:
- Changes in colour, consistency, smell or quantity of vaginal discharge including an unpleasant fishy smell, a yellow-green colour or a thick, thin or frothy consistency
- Soreness, swelling and itching around the vagina or inner thighs
- Pain or discomfort when you pee or have sex.
And for men symptoms include:
- Pain during when you pee or needing to pee more frequently
- Soreness, swelling and redness around the foreskin or head of the penis
- Thin, white discharge from the penis
- Pain during ejaculation.
Like all STIs, you don’t have to have many sexual partners to catch trichomoniasis.
Anybody who’s sexually active can catch it and pass it on.
Dr Sanghvi explained: “The best way to avoid catching TV is to use a condom when having sex, covering any sex toys with a condom, and washing sex toys properly after use.”
Trichomoniasis can be effectively treated with antibiotics.
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