Causes of Trichomonas Vaginalis Infection and Its Management
Q: I am a 37 yrs old man. I have never cheated on my wife. But she just found out she had trichomoniasis. We recently have been trying anal intercourse. Is it possible that she could have gotten this STD from this mode?
The causative organism of trichomoniasis is a protozoa called trichomonas vaginalis, which lives in vaginal and urethral tissues. It does not live in places like mouth, rectum or anus.
So it spreads through penile- vagina contact (commonest) or vulva- vulvar contact. It does not spread during anal intercourse.
However, though grouped under STDs, trich can spread through non-sexual ways also.
Non-sexual Transmission of Trichomonas
The protozoa can survive on moist, warm surfaces outside the human body for some time. So it can spread through:
- Infected Jacuzzis
- Public bath tubs
- Infected toilet seats
- Used towels, in hotels, swimming pools etc.
If one partner has this disease, it is assumed that both the partners are infected. This is because this condition is very contagious. The female usually presents with symptoms. The male partner, however, may or may not show any symptom.
- Itching in vulval and vaginal regions.
- Itching on inner thighs may be there
- The vulva may be red and slightly swollen
- Discomfort during intercourse
- Vaginal discharge may be there. It is usually greenish -yellow in color. Thin or frothy in consistency.
Are you sure your wife has trich? You need to confirm this before starting treatment.
Your wife needs to go to a doctor for a gynecology checkup. The doctor will do a pelvic exam.
Small red sores suggesting trichomonas vaginalis may be seen. The discharge from the vagina is examined to detect the presence of the parasite in it.
Pap smear may be required.
It is a rule to treat both the partners simultaneously. Even if the male shows no symptoms, he requires treatment. (He may be harboring the parasite in his urethral tissue in a asymptomatic way.)
Treatment is simple. An antibiotic course is all that is required.
The drug of choice is metronidazole. Avoid taking alcohol with this drug as it interacts adversely with it.
Abstain from sex till the treatment is complete.