Vaginitis

    Trichomoniasis, like many other STIs, often occurs without any symptoms. Most
    infected men do not have symptoms. When women have symptoms, they usually appear
    within 5 to 28 days of exposure to the parasite.

    Although some infected women have minor or no symptoms, many do have
    symptoms. The symptoms in women include

    • Heavy, yellow-green or gray vaginal discharge
    • Discomfort during sex
    • Vaginal odor
    • Painful urination

    They may also have irritation and itching of the genital area and, on rare
    occasions, lower abdominal pain.

    If present, the symptoms in men include a thin, whitish discharge from the
    penis and painful or difficult urination and ejaculation.

    Diagnosis

    A health care provider can diagnose trichomoniasis by performing laboratory
    tests on fluid samples from the vagina or penis. When women are infected with
    trichomoniasis, a pelvic examination reveals red sores on the cervix or inside
    the vagina.

    Treatment

    Because men can transmit the disease to their sex partners even when they
    don’t have symptoms, health experts recommend that both partners be treated to
    get rid of the parasite. Health care providers usually use metronidazole in a
    single dose to treat people infected with trichomoniasis. A person can get
    trichomoniasis again after being treated successfully, however.

    Prevention

    The surest way to avoid getting STIs is to abstain from sexual contact, or to
    be in a long-term mutually monogamous relationship with a partner who has been
    tested and is known to be uninfected. Using a latex male condom consistently and
    correctly during sex may help prevent the spread of trichomoniasis.

    Complications

    Research has shown a link between trichomoniasis and two serious
    complications. Scientific studies suggest that trichomoniasis is associated with
    at least a 3- to 5-fold increased risk of HIV transmission and may cause a woman
    to deliver a low-birth-weight or premature infant. Scientists need to do
    additional research to fully explore these relationships.

    VAGINAL YEAST INFECTION

    Vaginal yeast infection, or vulvovaginal candidiasis, is a common cause of
    vaginal irritation. This common fungal infection occurs when there is an
    imbalance of the fungus called Candida albicans. Although this
    infection is not considered an STI, 12 to 15 percent of men develop symptoms
    after sexual contact with an infected partner.

    Yeast are always present in the vagina in small numbers, and symptoms only
    appear with overgrowth. Health experts estimate that approximately 75 percent of
    all women will have at least one yeast infection with symptoms during their
    lifetimes.

    Several factors are associated with increased yeast infection in women,
    including

    • Being pregnant
    • Having uncontrolled diabetes mellitus
    • Using oral contraceptives or antibiotics

    Other factors that may increase the incidence of yeast infection include
    using

    • Douches
    • Perfumed feminine hygiene sprays
    • Topical antibiotics and steroid medicines

    Wearing tight, poorly ventilated clothing and underwear also can contribute
    to vaginitis. Women should work with their health care providers to find out
    possible underlying causes of their chronic yeast infections.

    Health experts do not know whether yeast can be transmitted sexually. Because
    almost all women have the fungus in their vaginas, it has been difficult for
    researchers to study this aspect.

    Symptoms

    The most frequent symptoms of yeast infection in women a

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