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Trichomoniasis aka “Trich”

What is Trichomoniasis?
Trichomoniasis is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) caused by the parasite, Trichomonas vaginalis. Despite not being as well-known as Chlamydia or gonorrhoea, it is one of the most common STIs worldwide and continues to increase in prevalence.

Trichomaniasis affects both men and women, however women commonly experience more symptoms and signs than men.

Symptoms
In women, symptoms can range from none to severe pelvic inflammatory disease (PID).

  • Abnormal vaginal discharge – yellow/green purulent, frothy or bloody
  • Abnormal vaginal odor (musty)
  • Itchy, burning or soreness in the vulva area
  • Pain during sex (dyspareunia)
  • Pain during urination (dysuria)
  • Vaginal Bleeding after sexual intercourse
  • Lower abdominal pain – such as cramps or on and off sharp pain
Health issues associated with Trichomoniasis

Research has shown that infection with T.vaginalis increases the risk of HIV transmission in both men and women. Not only does untreated Trichomoniasis increases your risk of HIV, it also increases susceptibility to other STIs and is strongly associated with co-infection with other STI.

Untreated Trichomoniasis is linked with adverse pregnancy outcomes, infertility, pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), postoperative infections and cervical tumour.

Treatment
If you are tested positive for Trichomoniasis, both you and your sexual partner should be treated and abstain from sex until treatment is completed and symptoms have resolved.

Treatment will consist of taking a course of antibiotics, usually metronidazole, which can be prescribed by your doctor.

As trichomoniasis is associated with an increased incidence of co-infection with other STI and increases the risk for HIV, patients should also be tested for other STIs and HIV.

If you or someone you know have symptoms suggestive of trichomoniasis or any other STD, check in with your doctor to get the appropriate treatment and care.

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About Dr. Sim Li Kun

Dr Sim Li Kun graduated from the University of Bristol, UK in 2009 where she has worked for 2 years before moving to Singapore. Currently she is practicing in a private medical group, Dr Tan & partners, in Singapore which has a special interest in men's and women's health, as well as tackling HIV and the spread of STDs.

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