Sexually transmitted infections are still present among the population, so it is very important to talk about them and to know that we can contract them without realizing it.
When you have sex without a condom, it is very easy to contract an STD, including trichomoniasis. This disease is one of the most common and may not present symptoms, but it can be contagious, which makes it difficult to eradicate. In today’s article I tell you everything you need to know about trichomoniasis.
Trichomoniasis is the most common sexually transmitted disease among the world’s population. It is a non-viral STD that affects more women than men. Specifically, it is 1 of the 3 common infectious causes of vaginal discomfort among women of reproductive age, the other two being candida vulvovaginitis and bacterial vaginosis.
Trichomoniasis is an infection of the urinary genital area transmitted by the protozoan Trichomonas vaginalis. It mainly affects the vagina, urethra and paraurethral glands.
As I have already mentioned, trichomoniasis is a disease that is always sexually transmitted and is more common in women than in men. In fact, they can acquire the infection from both men and women, while men acquire it only from women and infrequently transmit it to other men.
Incubation and co-infection data for Trichomonas vaginalis are not known exactly; however, an incubation period of 4 to 28 days is estimated in approximately 50% of patients and a co-infection rate between 20 and 80%.
As for the prevalence, it is complicated to know due to the lack of public health registration since trichomoniasis cases are not required to be reported.
As in all diseases, the symptoms depend on each person, how it affects him/her and at what vital moment he/she is in.
85% of women suffering from trichomoniasis are asymptomatic. The rest usually present the following typical symptoms:
When we talk about trichomoniasis in female patients, a classification must be made: non-pregnant women, pregnant women and newborns. The symptoms of infection will be different in each of them:
Many women with trichomoniasis are asymptomatic, so a diagnosis cannot be made based on them. Laboratory tests such as cultures or nucleic acid amplification tests (NAAT) are performed for a complete diagnosis.
The first diagnostic test that determines the presence of trichomes is microscopy to evaluate vaginal discharge. If this test is positive, no further testing is necessary; if it is negative, culture or NAAT tests are performed.
Treatment of trichomoniasis is focused on both symptomatic and asymptomatic women as it is the only way to stop the transmission of the infection and prevent them from becoming symptomatic.
The administration of antibiotics such as metronidazole or tinidazole reduces the prevalence of the protozoan in humans, alleviates its symptoms and reduces the risk of sequelae.
During treatment it is essential to follow up with the patients. It is best to perform a NAAT test within 3 months of starting antibiotic treatment. If it is not possible to do it during that period of time, it can be extended up to 12 months.
For a woman’s treatment to be fully effective, her sexual partner should also be treated. In addition, sexual intercourse should be avoided until both partners have completed treatment. Antibiotic treatment usually lasts 7 days.
Now that you know everything you need to know about trichomoniasis, remember to ALWAYS use a condom during sexual intercourse. And, if you think you may have it, make an appointment with me, we will treat it in an integrative way.
Soy la doctora Bárbara Fernández del Bas, ginecóloga especialista en sexología, ginecología integrativa, funcional y medicina antienvejecimiento. Gracias a mi formación, la aproximación a mis pacientes siempre es de forma global. Soy consciente de que somos más que mamas, útero y ovarios. Somos un todo. Por eso, siempre busco los últimos avances científicos para ponerlos a disposición de toda mujer que los necesite