What is Trichomoniasis?
Trichomoniasis, also known as trich, is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) that affects both men and women. The disease is caused by Trichomonas vaginalis, a single-celled protozoan parasite, which is usually transmitted during unprotected sex. Men usually contract trichomoniasis during vaginal intercourse with a woman who is infected. Trichomoniasis in men mainly affects the urethra, the tube in the penis that carries urine out of the body.
Trichomoniasis is a very common STD that affects 7.5 million Americans per year. It is the most common STD present in young, sexually active women, partly because the absence of symptoms in men makes it easy for the disease to be transmitted. Trichomoniasis is often diagnosed in conjunction with other STDs such as chlamydia and gonorrhea. If you suspect you may have a STD, it is important to see a doctor to begin treatment as soon as possible.
This disease does not always cause trichomoniasis symptoms in men, so an absence of symptoms does not mean you do not have this STD.
Symptoms in Men
Trichomoniasis symptoms in men are often absent. This lack of symptoms makes the spreading of the disease more likely as treatment is often not received.
Symptoms are often present four to twenty days after exposure but can remain silent for years. It is important for both men and women to watch for signs and symptoms. A lack of symptoms, however, does not mean you do not have trichomoniasis.
- Penis Discharge: The discharge is often thin and white. Some men will have very little discharge while others will notice a substantial amount.
- Painful Urination: The pain is usually described as mild. Often times it is described as more of an irritation upon completion of urinating.
- Pain after Ejaculation: The pain is usually mild or described as a mild discomfort. It can also be felt as a slight burning sensation.
- Difficulty with Urination: Is often described as having to wait a few seconds to be able to begin to urinate. Pain may or may not be present.
Untreated trichomonosis can result in inflammation of the prostate or bladder in men which explains the above symptoms.
It is very important for any man who is sexually active and has had unprotected sex to be routinely tested even without the presence of symptoms. It is well known that most men with trichomonosis do not exhibit any signs or symptoms. Testing requires a swab of the urethra and the test takes about ten days to process.
Diagnosis and treatment of trichomoniasis is very important, as men who are infected can easily and unknowingly transmit it to new partners.
Treatment is usually administered as a single dose of the drug tinidazole or metronidazole. Alcohol should be avoided during treatment, as nausea and vomiting can occur due to a reaction between alcohol and the drugs. Other common side effects include headache, abdominal cramping and nausea.
For couples who have contracted trichomoniasis, it is important that both people receive treatment at the same time. All sexual contact should be avoided for ten days to prevent reinfection.
Center for Disease Control: Trichomoniasis - https://www.cdc.gov/std/trichomonas/stdfact-trichomoniasis.htm
WebMD: Trichomoniasis - https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/787722-overview