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Trichomoniasis (trich) is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) that is caused by an organism - or parasite – called trichomonas vaginalis that is transferred during unprotected sex. This protozoan primarily affects the urethra and is more commonly found in women, though the infection does occur in men. The parasite is similar in size to a white blood cell and is mobile through the vaginal and urethral tissues, which causes tissue ulceration.
Trichomoniasis is relatively uncommon and can be difficult to diagnose because any symptoms that do occur are very similar to those caused by other STIs. It is, however, easily treatable with a course of the antibiotic Metronidazole, which cures the infection completely and is available to buy from euroClinix after a short online consultation.
Trichomoniasis is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) caused by the parasite trichomonas vaginalis. The parasite is extremely small - around the size of a white blood cell – so trich can travel very easily and is easily contracted.
Also referred to as 'trich', trichomoniasis is an uncommon STI in comparison to frequently contracted infections such as chlamydia and gonorrhoea, and it can be difficult to diagnose for two reasons.
Firstly, this is due to the invisible nature of the STI with half of all people in the UK not experiencing any symptoms at all. Secondly, those that do have symptoms of trichomoniasis will find that they are similar to other STIs and with screening for infections such as chlamydia and gonorrhoea more popular, trich can be overlooked.
The trichomoniasis protozoan (parasite) that causes the infection, lives in the urethra or vagina of the infected host and can pass very easily from one individual to another if the correct protection is not in place (i.e. using condoms during sex).
The common cause of the trichomoniasis is unprotected sex is an infected individual. Whilst some STIs can be transported through oral sex and anal sex, it is thought that trichomoniasis is only transported though vaginal intercourse in this sense.
Though it is extremely rare, this infection can be transmitted by sharing moist towels with someone who is infected, or by sharing a hot bath or Jacuzzi, or sex toys that haven't been appropriately cleaned.
A large percentage of individuals infected will not experience any trichomoniasis symptoms. In fact, the NHS states that up to half of men and women who have contracted the trichomonas vaginalis parasite will not show any of the symptoms detailed below. Those who do experience symptoms will usually notice them within 28 days (one month) after unprotected sex.
Women may experience some vaginal itching, inflammation and soreness. You may also notice pain while urinating and during sexual intercourse. It is possible that your vaginal discharge will be a greenish-yellow colour with a frothy consistency and a fish-like odour. You may experience just one or all of these symptoms. This makes certain symptoms of the STI similar to gonorrhoea and chlamydia, as well as common yeast infections such as thrush and bacterial vaginosis.
Trichomoniasis symptoms in men usually include an increase in the need to urinate, which can be painful once urinating. The urethra may omit a white discharge, especially after ejaculation, which can be difficult to notice. It is possible that you may experience some discomfort after sex, and the foreskin may become inflamed.
As this infection often does not display any symptoms, it is important to take an STI test if you have had unprotected sex. This is because STIs can lead to complications if they remain untreated. If you are being tested for gonorrhoea or chlamydia, it is advisable to also be tested for trichomoniasis, as this infection is often found alongside these STIs.
If this infection is not treated, it can increase the risk of premature labour in pregnant women, as well as weakening the cervical mucus, which plays a vital role in protecting against infections. Men are also at risk of contracting prostatitis.
Using a condom during sex is the most effective way to prevent trichomoniasis, as well as many other STIs. Male condoms are easily available over-the-counter in shops and pharmacies, whilst dental dams are the female equivalent. You should also make sure all sex toys are thoroughly cleaned before using.
To prevent the spread of trichomoniasis, you must refrain from having sex until the course of antibiotics is over and you have confirmed that the infection is gone. You must also inform your sexual partner(s) so they can get tested and buy treatment.
Trichomoniasis can be cured completely with the right treatment; it will not go away on its own. This comes in the form of antibiotics and is currently the only form of treatment that is proven successful at treating trichomoniasis.
The antibiotic used to treat the parasite trichomonas vaginalis is Metronidazole, which is also used for other STIs. As you can contract trich along with other infections such as chlamydia or gonorrhoea, the same antibiotics can be used to clear up multiple infections.
Metronidazole is a simple, quick and easy dosage usually lasting up to a week. The recommended dose is two tablets a day (once in the morning and once in the evening) and your dosage will be confirmed by your doctor and in the patient leaflet.
As with most antibiotics, it is advised to avoid alcohol during the course and with STIs, to follow up with an additional test after the course to make sure the infection has cleared completely.
If you're a woman taking hormonal contraception, there is a chance antibiotics such as Metronidazole can affect the effectiveness on your contraception.
Lastly, as mentioned under prevention, when testing and treating trichomoniasis, it's important to tell your sexual partner(s) so they can do the same and avoid spreading the STI even further.
The recommended trichomoniasis treatment is available to buy online from euroClinix in the form of Metronidazole that will be supplied in the appropriate dosage for your STI. Ordering the medication is simple: you just need to complete a free online consultation, which will be viewed by our doctor.
If our doctor confirms that the trichomoniasis treatment is safe for you, you will be issued a prescription, which will then be dispensed by our pharmacy. You can expect to receive your medication very quickly as we use a free overnight delivery service. This means you will be able to start your course of treatment as soon as possible.
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