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.
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
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.
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.
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
Several factors are associated with increased yeast infection in women,
- Being pregnant
- Having uncontrolled diabetes mellitus
- Using oral contraceptives or antibiotics
Other factors that may increase the incidence of yeast infection include
- 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.
The most frequent symptoms of yeast infection in women a