Symptoms and Complications
The most common symptom of trichomoniasis infection in women is an abundant, frothy, white or yellow-green vaginal discharge with an unpleasant odor. The discharge can irritate the tissues of the vagina and vulva, causing them to become inflamed, itchy, and sore (Centers for Disease Control, 2009k). The infection is usually limited to the vagina and sometimes the cervix, but occasionally the organism invades the urethra, bladder, or Bartholin’s glands. Inflammation of genital tissues caused by trichomoniasis can increase a woman’s susceptibility to HIV infection and increase the probability that an HIV-infected woman will transmit HIV to her sex partner(s) (Centers for
Sexually Transmitted Infections
Disease Control, 2009k). Untreated trichomoniasis infection in pregnant women is associated with premature rupture of the amniotic sac and preterm delivery (Centers for Disease Control, 2009k; Huppert, 2006). Trichomoniasis infections in men, usually asymptomatic, may be associated with an urge to urinate frequently, painful urination, or a slight urethral discharge.
To avoid passing the protozoan back and forth, it is important that the sex partner(s) of an infected woman be treated, even if they are asymptomatic. If a male partner is not treated, the couple should use condoms to prevent reinfection. The recommended drug regimen for both sexes is a single 2-gram dose of metronidazole (Flagyl) or tini – dazole taken by mouth.