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Trichomoniasis or "Trich": The STD You Might Not Know (But Should)

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Posted on September 27 2017

It’s one of the most common STDs, but it’s also one you might not have heard of: Trichomoniasis or “trich”. So let’s talk about trich.

How common is Trichomoniasis?

  • It’s the most common curable STD
  • An estimated 3.7 million people in the US have the infection
  • Only about 30% develop any symptoms of trichomoniasis
  • Infection is more common in women than in men
  • Older women are more likely than younger women to have been infected with trichomoniasis

How could I get trich?

Trich is caused by an infection with a parasite (trichomonas vaginalis). It’s passed from an uninfected person to an infection person during sex. Women are typically infected in the lower genital tract (vulva, vagina, cervix, or urethra).

How do I know I have it?

  • You might not—70% of infected people do not have any signs or symptoms
  • Some people do not develop symptoms until much later
  • Some people with symptoms get them within 5 to 28 days after being infected
  • Symptoms can range from mild irritation to severe inflammation

Symptoms for women:

  • Itching, burning, redness or soreness of the genitals
  • Discomfort with urination
  • A change in vaginal discharge (thin or increased). Discharge can be clear, white, yellowish, or greenish with a fishy smell

How do I treat it?

A lab test will determine your diagnosis. If you have trich, you’ll take medicine (it’s safe for pregnant women). About 1 in 5 people will get infected again within 3 months after receiving treatment.

Use condoms, but know that areas not covered by a condom can get infected. The best route to avoid trichomoniasis infection is to make sure you and your sexual partner(s) get tested for STDs.

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