Sexual health is something we all should take very seriously. While it may be an uncomfortable subject for some, it is still very important to be educated on the different illnesses that may compromise one’s sexual health.
One ailment in particular that can put a person’s sexual health at risk is trichomoniasis. This sexually transmitted infection (STI) is worth mentioning because, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it is very common in the US.
How common is trichomoniasis in the US? To put it plainly, “[it is estimated that there were] more than two million trichomoniasis infections in 2018 [alone].” The abundance of this particular sexually transmitted disease (STD) is concerning. Thus it is important to be aware of its symptoms, treatments, and testing options.
*What is the difference between a sexually transmitted infection, STI, and a sexually transmitted disease, STD? According to Verywell Health, an STI is an infection that is transmitted through sexual activity. These infections may or may not show symptoms and become a sexually transmitted disease. Keep in mind, STD and STI terminology are used interchangeably, so that is why both terms are used in this article.
What is Trichomoniasis?
Cleveland Clinic mentions that what makes this STI worrisome, is that many people with trich, do not show any outward symptoms alarming them they are infected. This allows this STI to spread quickly and without detection.
Trich is most often spread by having unprotected sex, but according to the National Health Service (NHS), “it could also be spread by sharing sex toys if you do not wash them.” Also in rare instances this infection can be spread non sexually when people share bath water, towels, toilet seats, and swimming pools. However, the National Library of Medicine remarks that more studies need to be conducted to solidify evidence of this.
If symptoms do appear, Planned Parenthood states trich often causes vaginitis or in other words, vulva and vagina irritation in women and irritation inside the penis for men. They also mention that the urethra can also be affected, causing painful or frequent urination.
Symptoms of trichomoniasis vary from person to person and can affect men and women differently.
Trichomoniasis in Men
Trichomoniasis symptoms in men as mentioned in an article published by the Mayo Clinic include:
- Itchiness or irritation inside the penis
- A burning sensation during urination or post ejaculation
- Unusual discharge from the penis
If not treated in a timely manner, trichomoniasis may cause more serious problems. Kids Health explains that if left untreated, symptoms can be as severe as:
- Irritation and inflammation of the tubes near the back of the testicles
- Swelling of the prostate
- Having a higher chance of getting prostate cancer
Trichomoniasis in Women
The Mayo Clinic also states that trichomoniasis symptoms in women may include:
- Foul smelling vaginal discharge
- Painful urination
- Pain during sexual intercourse
- Bleeding after sexual intercourse
If untreated, Kids Health warns that symptoms can escalate for women too. Problems like:
- Having a higher chance of getting cervical cancer
- Having a greater chance of contracting HIV if intercourse is had with someone with HIV
Is Trichomoniasis Curable?
In the event that you contract trichomoniasis, there is some light at the end of the tunnel. Trichomoniasis treatment is very simple. Unfortunately this illness does not go away on its own if untreated, but the Cleveland Clinic states that it is curable through the use of antibiotics.
Prevention of Trichomoniasis
To prevent contracting trichomoniasis, it is recommended by the American Sexual Health Association (ASHA) that condoms are used during sexual intercourse. Kids Health puts it bluntly by explaining that the only way to truly avoid getting this STD or other STDs, is to simply not have sex. This includes: oral sex, vaginal sex, or anal sex. Unfortunately, this is not a real solution.
To avoid any serious health issues, if you are sexually active, you should get tested for STDs every year or more depending on your health care provider’s recommendations. This will help you maintain your sexual health throughout life.
Where Do I Get an STD Test For Trichomoniasis?
To help determine if you may have trich, testing options are available. Just a simple lab test can put your mind at ease.
Advanced Urgent Care & Occupational Medicine is partnering with Rapid Testing LLC to offer rapid STD testing with same-day results. This is an FDA-approved, 3-in-1 combo test that is manufactured by Visby Medical. This rapid PCR test not only tests for trichomonas, but also for gonorrhea and chlamydia. The convenience of testing with Rapid Testing LLC means same-day testing with same-day results all without a doctor’s visit.
The test offered by Rapid Testing LLC is a self-collected vaginal swab. There is also a test for men that is a lab send-out test. This test requires a visit with a provider and results are available in 3 to 7 days.
How Much Does the 3-in-1 Combo Test Cost?
The Visby Medical rapid test is a self-collected vaginal swab and is non-invasive, meaning it does not require a blood test. You can even collect the sample yourself in the privacy of an exam room or a health care provider can collect the sample for you at no additional cost.
Instructions as to how to collect the sample are quick and easy and you will receive the results the same day you are tested!
The cost of this STD combo PCR test is $225. While this particular test is a self-collected vaginal swab, there is also a lab test available for men and women. This lab test requires a visit with a health care provider and the results are available in 3 to 7 days.
Get Tested Today!
Testing for STDs is offered at all of Advanced Urgent Care & Occupational Medicine’s clinics across the Denver metro area. Schedule your appointment online and get tested all without a doctor’s visit. If you test positive for any of these infections, please schedule a visit with an Advanced Urgent Care provider, or with a provider of your choice, in order to get treatment. Click here to learn more and schedule testing today!