Trichomonas vaginalis: Human Interaction

Background Information
    T. vaginalis is one of the most common and curable sexually transmitted diseases. The protist forms a parasitic relationship with its human host, meaning it benefits from the host while causing harm. An estimated five to eight million new cases occur each year. The infection is transmitted from host to host via unprotected sexual contact, generally between a male and a female or two females.

Images and Information on Other Parasites

    Men infected with T. vaginalis are usually asymptomatic. In rare cases, there will be irritation, burning, or discharge from
the penis. Women will show symptoms of being infected between five and 28 days after exposure. Irritation, inflammation, burning, itching, and a smelly, frothy, discharge, ranging from green to yellow to gray are indications of a T. vaginalis infection. Sores will sometimes be present as well, from the T. vaginalis' barbwire-like axostyles.

Vaginal discharge, located at

Vaginal discharge, due to a T. vaginalis infection

Strawberry cervix, located at

A "strawberry cervix". Inflammation, irritation, and sores on the cervix due to a T. vaginalis infection

If a picture is worth a thousand words, you now have two thousand reasons to make sure to use protection during sexual contact. These T. vaginalis infections can easily be diagnosed using wet mounts or cultures, and treated using prescription drugs. However, there are more symptoms that are not as easily treatable. Women with T. vaginalis often have premature or low birth weight babies. The irritation and inflammation associate with T. vaginalis also makes an individual more succeptible to passing on and recieving HIV and other more serious STDs. Any inflammation, sores, or tears caused by a T. vaginalis infection allow more bodily fluids in and out than usual, and those fluids could be carrying harmful pathogens.

    T. vaginalis infections can be prevented in a various number of ways:
        -practicing monogamy with someone who is tested and not infected
        -laytex condoms

   If T. vaginalis is contracted, both partners must be treated, and abstain until treatment is finished, otherwise they will be continuously re-infecting each other!


Prevention and Information on Other STDs