Could You Have An STD And Not Know It?

Health & Medical Blog

Are you aware you could have a sexually transmitted disease (STD) and not even know it? Many women think common STDs always come with specific symptoms, such as vaginal discharge and irritation — something that just doesn't feel right — but unfortunately, this isn't always the case. Trichomoniasis is one of those STDs that are usually symptomless.

What Is Trichomoniasis? 

Trichomoniasis is a sexually transmitted disease caused by a protozoan parasite. Most human parasites that cause disease enter the body through insect bites, such as malaria, or from consuming contaminated food or water. Trichomoniasis, however, is spread via sexual contact. 

Who Gets Trichomoniasis? 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), trichomoniasis is the most common curable STD. In fact, the health community reported over 2 million cases in 2018. Infection with the Trichomonas vaginalis parasite is more common in women, particularly older women, but men can get it as well.

The parasite can pass from a man's urethra and penis to a woman's vulva, vagina, cervix, and urethra or vice versa. It can also pass from one woman's vagina to another vagina or to the anus. 

What Are the Symptoms of Trichomoniasis? 

Only about 30 percent of people get symptoms. If a person does get symptoms, they can range from very mild to severe inflammation. 

Women may experience itching and burning of the genitals, redness, and urinary discomfort, such as burning or urgency. Unusual vaginal discharge that is anywhere from clear to green is another sign in some and may have a bad or fish-like odor. 

Men may also experience genital itching and burning, urinary difficulty and pain, an unusual discharge from the penis, and burning after ejaculation. 

What Are the Complications of Untreated Trichomoniasis? 

Pregnant women are more likely to go into early labor and deliver a low birth weight baby. Genital irritation in both sexes may increase the risk of contracting other STDs, such as HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. 

How Is Trichomoniasis Treated? 

Trichomoniasis will not go away on its own. If lab results show you have trichomoniasis, you and your partner(s) must be treated to prevent reinfection. Your doctor will prescribe an antibiotic that kills the Trichomonas vaginalis parasite. 

Reinfection is common, so be sure to take your medication as directed and refrain from having unprotected sex if you are not in a monogamous relationship. Abstinence is the only way to avoid STDs. Because some sexually transmitted diseases produce few or no symptoms, like trichomoniasis, it's important women see their OBGYN regularly. To learn more information, reach out to a company such as Women's Health Specialist PC.


22 November 2021

introducing your daughter to the gynecologist

Having a daughter comes with a number of challenges. One challenge that you will one day need to tackle is determining when to introduce your daughter to the gynecologist. Do you take your daughter to the same gynecologist that you see or take her somewhere else? Do you wait until she gets her first period or do you take her in to learn about the menstrual cycle from the doctor? There is a long list of questions you likely have about introducing your daughter to the world of gynecology. Having gone through this twice myself, I have learned quite a bit and have included a lot of helpful information in my site to help other parents get through this complicated time a little easier.