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Trichomonas Vaginalis

Causes, symptoms and treatment options of trichomonas vaginalis

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Dr Hilary Jones discusses trichomonas vaginalis and the treatments available at HealthExpress
Want to find out about our available treatments and their prices? Click to start your Free Online Consultation for trichomonas now.

Trichomonas, or trichomonas vaginalis, is a sexually transmitted infection that is caused by a small organism known as a protozoan – or a parasite – which is quite similar to a bacterium. The trichomonas protozoan affects a man's urethra and prostate gland, and a woman's urethra and vagina, although it is more common in women. Only 6,000 cases of trichomonas have been reported in the UK, making it a relatively uncommon STI. But if trichomonas is left untreated, it may cause premature labour, and prostatitis in women and men.

Trichomonas can easily be treated with a course of antibiotics such as Metronidazole, which can be prescribed for you online by a registered UK doctor after you've taken an online consultation.

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What are the symptoms of trichomonas?

More than half of all men and women do not experience any symptoms of a trichomonas infection, although it can still be passed on to your sexual partner if you do not have any symptoms. Women do, however, experience symptoms more often than men.

Men usually experience a discharge from the urethra, as well as increased and painful urinations.

Women experience more symptoms of trichomonas, including vaginal itching, soreness and inflammation, pain during sexual intercourse or when urinating and, although less common, pain in the groin area. Women may also experience a strange greenish-yellow discharge, which may be frothy and have a slightly fishy odour.

What causes trichomonas?

The most common way to catch trichomonas is through unprotected sexual intercourse. The trichomonas protozoan lives inside the infected person's urethra or vagina and can be easily passed from one person to another.

The trichomonas protozoan is about the size of a white blood cell, and is able to move around urethral and vaginal tissues. It causes tissue ulceration by directly damaging the epithelium.

In extremely rare occasions, trichomonas can be spread by sharing a Jacuzzi or hot bath, or by sharing moist towels with an infected person.

How can I get tested for trichomonas?

Diagnosing trichomonas can often be difficult because the symptoms are similar to those of other STI's. Nevertheless, you should always visit your sexual health clinic immediately, if you are experiencing any abnormal discharge or irritation.

A nurse will usually examine your vagina or penis for any signs of inflammation, and then will test for the trichomonas infection using a swab test or a urine sample. These will often be sent away to a laboratory for further analysis. Quick treatment is crucial for any STI, so if your nurse is almost certain that you have trichomonas, then you may be recommended a course of treatment before the results have been sent back

What are the risks of trichomonas?

Trichomonas is not as dangerous as other STIs, such as chlamydia and gonorrhoea, because it doesn't penetrate as far up the urethra and into the body. However, trichomonas makes you more susceptible to contracting more serious infections, such as HIV.

If left untreated, the trichomonas infection may cause prostatitis in men. It may also lead to an increased risk of premature labour in women, as well as new-born babies with a much lower birth weight. Many people infected with trichomonas, are often found to be infected with gonorrhoea as well.

Finding treatment

Metronidazole is the most effective antibiotic used to treat a trichomonas infection. This antibiotic can easily be taken as either a 1 day dose or as a 7 day course to treat the infection. You should always take the full course of antibiotics, even if your symptoms disappear before you finish the course.

Obtaining treatment from us could not be easier and will take minutes.

Step 1 - Simply complete our online consultation which will be reviewed by one of our registered UK doctors. View the medical questions here

Step 2 - They will be able to recommend a range of beneficial treatments. You will receive a diagnosis in a secure email.

Step 3 - If deemed suitable, you will have the access to login, directly to your personalised member's area, from where you will be able to place your order and receive it the next working day.

Taking an online consultation

If you have tested positive for trichomonas, please click below to take an online consultation now to so you can discover which prescription treatment is right for you. After you have completed an online consultation, one of our doctors will be able to assess your condition and make the right decision as to which treatments are suited for you. Once you've selected your treatment, our doctor will issue a prescription. This will then be sent to our pharmacy, and your medication will be dispatched for free next-day delivery.

Dr Hilary Jones, HealthExpress Medical Advisor

What should I do if I experience Trichomonas vaginalis?

Trichomonas vaginalis is a parasitic STI that is more common in women than men. It can eventually lead to complications, but is easy to treat.

Click here to find the right treatment for you