Trichomoniasis, nicknamed trich, is one of the most commonly contracted sexually transmitted diseases (STDs); it is estimated that more than seven million new cases crop up each year. Fortunately, it is also one of the most curable STDs. Caused by a parasite, trichomoniasis affects both men and women. However, many men never show any symptoms or have their symptoms disappear without treatment. Since a man can be infected with the STD and never have any symptoms, it is best for both partners to be tested and treated when a woman is diagnosed with the infection.
Prescription medications are usually prescribed to treat cases of trichomoniasis. Metronidazole, also called Flagyl, is the most commonly prescribed medication for treating this STD. It is given by mouth and usually requires just a single dose. Sometimes, tinidazole is given instead.
In some cases, a doctor may prescribe topical treatments for dealing with trichomoniasis. Unfortunately, these treatments are far less effective than oral medications. They do provide some symptom relief, however. Usually, a topical solution is only prescribed when a person is allergic to the prescription medications usually used to treat the condition.
Trichomoniasis poses a particular threat to pregnant women. While it does not cause additional symptoms in women who are expecting babies, it does threaten the health of the unborn children. Women who have this STD are more likely to give birth to low-birth-weight or premature babies. Fortunately, the drug metronidazole is considered safe for use during pregnancy.
HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is another reason to be treated immediately. This STD causes inflammation in the vagina that makes a woman more susceptible to contracting HIV. Also, it makes it easier for her to pass on the HIV virus to an uninfected partner. Prompt treatment can reduce these risks.
The infection is usually cured within one week of prescription-drug treatment. It is necessary for infected people to abstain from sex until the treatment is finished and they're completely free of the parasite. This prevents the spread of the parasite while treatment is taking place. Usually, it's not necessary to seek follow-up care. However, it is important to understand that a cured infection does not provide any future immunity; this means that a person can have trichomoniasis, be successfully treated, and be reinfected again if he or she is exposed to the parasite once more.