Trichomoniasis

February 23, 2010

What Is Trich?

"Trich", the abbreviated form of Trichomoniasis, is a sexually transmitted disease that is very common, affecting between two and three million people in the US every year. This STD is caused by a parasite called Trichomonas vaginalis and is a urogenital tract infection. In a man, the most common place affected is the urethra, and the site of infection in a woman is the vagina. Trich is spread by sexual contact, but sex is not a prerequisite to becoming infected. This parasite is able to survive in wet, warm, environments such as swimsuits, underwear, towels, and even toilet seats.

What Are The Symptoms Of Trich?

As is common with many STDs, there are often no symptoms. Men are most frequently symptom-free, and women, if they do have symptoms, experience them within four to 20 days after having been exposed to the parasite. The symptoms, if they do appear in a woman, include vaginal discharge that is heavy and yellow-green or gray in color, vaginal odor, pain or discomfort during intercourse, and pain during urination. The genital area can also be itchy and irritated. In some cases, pain in the lower abdominal area is present. It is possible for trich to move from the vagina into the urethra and then make its way to the bladder. The end result is a urinary tract infection which leads to the pain during urination. If a woman has a urinary tract infection that does not clear up with treatment, it may be trichomoniasis. When a man has symptoms of trichomoniasis, he has a thin, white discharge from the penis accompanied by pain or difficulty during urination.

Common Treatment For This STD

Men can transmit this STD to their sexual partner even though no symptoms are obvious. In light of this, it is wise for both partners to be treated in order to deal with the problem. The drug generally used to treat trichomoniasis is Metronidazole and it carries a warning about drinking alcohol while taking it. Mixing the two substances can create nausea and vomiting episodes. It is also highly toxic and may not be effective due to the resistant nature of trich. A very strong antibiotic, Metronidazole is unsafe for pregnant and nursing women, or any person with a blood disease, disorder in the central nervous system, or a peptic ulcer.

Natural Treatment Options

Women can use a homeopathic remedy called Sepia to address vaginal discharges such as those from trich. Some herbs are able to kill the parasite as effectively as poisons, without the risk. Other types of natural and herbal treatments include essential oils (tea tree, lavender, cypress, and red thyme.) The mixture of oils is diluted in water, yogurt, or olive oil and applied inside the vagina.

Risks Associated With Trich

There are two serious complications that can potentially arise from untreated trich. An increase in the risk of HIV transmission is one of the complications and the other directly affects an unborn baby if the women contracts the STD while pregnant.  Preterm birth or premature rupture of the membranes can occur as a result of trichomoniasis.

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