The Ultimate Guide To A Trichomoniasis Infection

What Is Trichomoniasis?

Trichomoniasis or Trich is a common infection that can spread through sexual contact. It’s caused by tiny parasitic protozoans called Trichomonas vaginalis.

These parasites usually affect the private parts. In women, this means the cervix, bladder, and urethra in women, and in men, the urethra or the tube where urine comes out.

Common Sexually Transmitted Infections

HPV

Genital Herpes

Chlamydia

Gonorrhoea

HIV/AIDS

Syphilis

Trichomoniasis

Viral Hepatitis

Male Urethritis Syndrome

Trichomoniasis

Trichomoniasis Quick Facts

Trichomoniasis is common in South Africa:

Trichomonas vaginalis is the most common curable sexually transmitted infection both in South Africa and internationally (Mabaso & Abbai, 2021). But South Africa and other sub-Saharan countries has the highest amount of new infections in the world (Mabaso & Abbai, 2021).

Most people have no symptoms:

A Trich infection is asymptomatic in 85% of the women and in 77% of the men (Waaij et al., 2017).

About one-third of initially asymptomatic people will develop symptoms within 6 months (Kissinger 2015).

Women in Africa are at increased risk

Unlike men, a trich infection in women can persist for months (Waaij et al., 2017). This is particularly an issue in Africa as in this region this infection occurs 10 times more often in women than in men (Waaij et al., 2017).

Most risky time to be infected is during pregnancy:

Trichomoniasis can lead to premature rupture of the placental membranes and result in premature labour and low birth-weight babies (Cudmore & Garber, 2010).

Impact on HIV risk

If a T. vaginalis infection is left untreated, it can increase the risk for getting infected with HIV if they are exposed to the viris (Waaij et al., 2017). This may be because as some studies have indicated, T. vaginalis and HIV coinfection increases genital shedding of HIV (Masha et al., 2018).

How Can I Get Trichomoniasis?

Short answer: Thorough sexual contact without a condom (CDC, 2022).

Long answer: Trichomoniasis can be easily spread from sexual skin-to-skin contact with someone who is living with the protozoan parasite (CDC, 2022).

In women, the infection is most commonly found in the lower genital tract (vulva, vagina, cervix, or urethra) (CDC, 2022). In men, the infection is most commonly found inside the penis (urethra) (CDC, 2022).

It is not common for the parasite to infect other body parts, like the hands, mouth, or anus (CDC, 2022).

Can Men Get Trichomoniasis?

Short answer: Yes, but most men will never show symptoms with the parasite only using them as a carrier (Pedra-Rezende et al., 2022).

Long answer: This infection is more common in women, but men can catch Trichomoniasis especially if they are partners of infected women (Chapwanya et al., 2015).

T. vaginalis passes skin to skin contact with an infected area, even if it doesn’t look infected (CDC, 2022).

Unlike in women, the condition usually resolves without treatment within 2 weeks to 4 months (Chapwanya et al., 2015).

How To Protect Yourself Against Trichomoniasis

✔ Use condoms. This helps a lot, but you have to use them every time you have sex (CDC, 2022).

Who Is Most At Risk For Trichomoniasis?

Scientists have found that women are particularly at risk if they (Waaij et al., 2017):

✔ Are older than 20 years of age.

✔ Have multiple male sexual partners at the same time.

What Are The Symptoms of Trichomoniasis?

In men, if there are symptoms, they are usually (CDC, 2022):

✔ Itching or irritation inside the penis;

✔ Burning after peeing or ejaculating; and

✔ Discharge from the penis.

In women, if there are symptoms, they are usually (CDC, 2022):

✔ Itching, burning, redness or soreness of the genitals;

✔ Discomfort when peeing; and

✔ A clear, white, yellowish, or greenish vaginal discharge (i.e., thin discharge or increased volume) with a fishy smell.

How To Test For Trich With Epicentre

Epicentre offers Trich testing at home or in our Walk-In Lab simply click on the button below.

Testing For Trich As A Women

Photo taken from health.gov.au.

At Epicentre, we offer self collection testing:

1. You will be given a long cotton swab in your pack. Wash your hands and go to a private space.

2. Once you are alone, take the cotton swab firmly in your hand and twist it out of its case.

3. Now insert the swab only a few centimetres into your vagina and rotate it for 20 to 30 seconds.

4. Put the cotton swab back into its plastic case and into its provided plastic packet.

5. We will take the sample for testing, and you will get a notification that your result has been uploaded to our website app.

Testing For Trich As A Man

At Epicentre, we offer self collection testing:

1. You will be given a long cotton swab in your pack. Wash your hands and go to a private space.

2. Once you are alone, take the cotton swab firmly in your hand and twist it out of its case.

3. Now dab the swab on the tip of your penis to catch any discharge that is naturally coming out the tip.

4. Put the cotton swab back into its plastic case and into its provided plastic packet.

5. We will take the sample for testing, and you will get a notification that your result has been uploaded to our website app.

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