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What causes trichomoniasis?

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Quick Answer

Trichomoniasis is a curable sexually transmitted disease caused by Trichomonas vaginalis, a disease-causing parasite found in vaginal or urethral fluid, states WebMD. Trichomoniasis is diagnosed through a lab test and is harder to detect in men than women.

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Full Answer

Trichomoniasis is most commonly found in young women who are sexually active, but men may have the disease and not know it until it is passed to the sexual partner, according to WebMD. Symptoms of trichomoniasis in men include mild discharge, irritation inside the penis and a burning sensation following urination or ejaculation. In women, symptoms include painful urination, discomfort during sexual intercourse, vaginal itching and irritation, discolored vaginal discharge with odor and lower abdominal pain, which appear within 28 days after exposure.

Treatment is an oral antibiotic, metronidazole, and should be taken until all of the prescribed medication is finished, states WebMD. Treating the sexual partner simultaneously is essential to getting rid of the disease. Eliminating sexual contact until both partners are without symptoms of the disease helps curb spreading the disease and reinfection. Failure to get treatment for trichomoniasis could lead to early delivery in pregnant women. The vaginal irritation experienced with trichomoniasis makes women more likely to acquire and transmit the HIV virus while infected.

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