Trichomoniasis in Pregnancy

What is Trichomoniasis?

Trichomoniasis is a parasitic infection caused by the protozoan parasite T. pallidum . The disease affects humans, animals and birds. Humans are infected when they come into contact with contaminated water or soil containing the eggs of these parasites. Infected individuals may develop fever, chills, headache, muscle aches and other symptoms similar to those of malaria ( Plasmodium falciparum ).

). Infected individuals may develop fever, chills, headache, muscle aches and other symptoms similar to those of malaria ( ).

Birds are infected when they ingest eggs from infected fish. Eggs are found in freshwater snails and aquatic insects such as mosquito larvae. Fish contaminated with eggs are commonly found in lakes and rivers.

The protozoan parasite infects the body through direct contact with feces or skin lesions caused by scratching at infected areas.

Symptoms of trichomoniasis include:

Fever, chills, headaches, muscle pains and other symptoms similar to malaria.

 Infection usually begins within one week after exposure to contaminated water or soil. Symptoms appear two weeks later but can last up to three months.

Most cases resolve without treatment within six months.

How to get rid of Trichomoniasis?

Trichomoniasis is often asymptomatic (symptom-free) in women but not in men.

To avoid reinfection, wash your hands after using the toilet or changing a diaper. Always wipe yourself from front to back after using the toilet.

Wear waterproof gloves when gardening or attending to sewage.

How is Trichomoniasis transmitted?

A person can be infected with trichomoniasis by:

Having unprotected vaginal, or (less commonly) penile, or (much less commonly) rectal sexual contact with an infected partner.

Swapping saliva with an infected partner (for example, French kissing).

You can have trichomoniasis even if your partner does not have any symptoms.

How is Trichomoniasis diagnosed?

Trichomoniasis can be diagnosed by performing a microscopic examination of a sample of your vaginal discharge. If trichomoniasis is suspected, your doctor may recommend that you undergo further tests to rule out other infections, such as chlamydia.

Tests for viral infections, such as herpes or HIV, should also be considered.

How is Trichomoniasis treated?

Trichomoniasis in men is treated with a single dose of antibiotic called Tinidazole or Metronidazole. In women it can be treated with either of these drugs or a seven-day course of Flagyl.

For women, additional treatment options include the prescription antidepressants Fluconazole (Diflucan) and Itraconazole (Sporanox).

Some physicians may also prescribe antifungals for symptomatic relief.

How to prevent getting Trichomoniasis?

To prevent the transmission of trichomoniasis, take the following precautions:

Use latex condoms, when having unprotected sexual contact with a partner.

Ensure that your sexual partner does not have any symptoms of trichomoniasis and that the infection has been treated by a doctor.

If you engage in multiple partner sexual activities, be sure to seek treatment for all your partners and avoid sexual contact until treatment has taken place.

Wash your hands after using the toilet or changing a diaper and before handling food or eating.

How long does Trichomoniasis last?

In most cases of trichomoniasis, symptoms usually last up to three months, even with treatment.

In some cases, the infection can last longer than a year, or even become chronic.

Treatment of trichomoniasis

Treatment for trichomoniasis is usually with Flagyl (metronidazole), Tinidazole, or Clindamycin if you are a woman. The treatment usually requires a single dose, but in some cases it may require a seven-day course.

Treating your sexual partner

If you are female, your sexual partner should also be treated. Your partner should also seek medical advice whether there is a possibility that he/she has been exposed to the infection through another partner.

It is highly contagious and can be transmitted by sharing contaminated towels or toilet seats.

Note: Avoid alcohol while being treated with metronidazole; it may cause explosive diarrhea.

Getting treatment for your partner

If you insist on getting treatment for your sexual partner, take the following steps:

Make an appointment to see a doctor who can prescribe Tinidazole or Metronidazole. Before going to the doctor, inform your partner about the visit and encourage him/her to accompany you to the medical facility.

During the examination, the physician or nurse will ask questions about the symptoms you are experiencing and perform a pelvic examination. The physician may also take a sample of vaginal discharge and send it to the lab for testing.

Note: Metronidazole gel is also used to treat trichomoniasis in women. Your doctor will decide if this treatment is suitable for you.

Note: Since trichomoniasis weakens your immune system, you are more susceptible to other sexually transmitted infections when you are being treated for this condition. Get tested for other STIs.

Trichomoniasis support groups

If you are concerned about this infection, you can find support from other people in the following Trichomoniasis support groups:

Note: Symptom Checker is not a substitute for Doctor.

Seek medical advice

It is important that you seek medical advice if you are experiencing any of the symptoms described above. Do not try to self-medicate.

Trichomoniasis is a curable condition. It is also possible to prevent the infection by practicing safe-sexuality. If you have been diagnosed and treated, remember to always use protection during sexual contact.

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Trichomoniasis: Information

You can browse through our list of conditions related to Trichomoniasis, or go to our STD Directory for Trichomoniasis and other sexually transmitted diseases If you are looking for information about STI tests, then you might want to read about Herpes Test.

Sources & references used in this article:

Trichomoniasis in pregnancy by GR Saurina, WM McCORMACK – 1997 – journals.lww.com

Interventions for trichomoniasis in pregnancy by AM Gülmezoglu, M Azhar – Cochrane Database of Systematic …, 2011 – cochranelibrary.com

Trichomoniasis in pregnancy and mental retardation in children by JR Mann, S McDermott, TL Barnes, J Hardin… – Annals of …, 2009 – Elsevier

Clinical and microbiological correlates of vaginal trichomoniasis during pregnancy by JG Pastorek, MF Cotch, DH Martin… – Clinical infectious …, 1996 – academic.oup.com

Metronidazole treatment in pregnancy by I Morgan – International Journal of Gynecology & Obstetrics, 1978 – Wiley Online Library

Treatment of trichomoniasis in pregnancy and preterm birth: an observational study by JR Mann, S McDermott, L Zhou, TL Barnes… – Journal of women’s …, 2009 – liebertpub.com