What Causes Trichomonas?

Trichomoniasis is caused by a protozoan called Trichomoniasis vaginalis that is passed from person to person through sexual contact, explains the Centers for Disease Control. The organism is most commonly passed through penis to vagina contact, but it can also be passed from one vagina to another vagina.

Women are most commonly affected by trichomoniasis, but men often become infected and pass the disease to their sexual partners, according to WebMD. Many men show no symptoms, but some experience irritation inside of the penis, mild penile discharge or slight burning after urination. Women more commonly show symptoms of trichomoniasis, which include greenish-yellow vaginal discharge, painful urination, discomfort during sex and vaginal itching.

Trichimoniasis can be treated with a single dose of antibiotic medication, according to the Centers for Disease Control. The medications typically used to treat the disease are tinidazole and metronidazole, and they are safe for pregnant women. Patients who think they may have trichimoniasis should seek diagnosis and treatment, especially because the disease increases the risk of contracting other sexually transmitted infections, such as HIV. Left untreated, trichomoniasis can remain in the body for several years with intermittent symptoms. Sexually active individuals can reduce the risk of contracting trichimoniasis by using latex condoms every time they have sex.