All What You Need to Know About Trichomoniasis

All What You Need to Know About Trichomoniasis Image

Sexually transmitted infections affect the lives of many people all around the globe. Many of these infections are usually left undetected, and some eventually lead to deaths. According to The World Health Organization, the four most common STIs include chlamydia, gonorrhea, trichomoniasis, and syphilis. All four infections are curable; however, they also increase the risk of having and spreading human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). According to the WHO African Region’s findings, there are high incidence rates for gonorrhea and trichomoniasis in both men and women in Africa. The study targeted adults aged from 15 to 49.     

Some of the causes of the increasing rate of trichomoniasis include lack of education, inadequate health facilities, alcohol, and drug abuse, and having multiple sexual partners. Another cause in South Africa is the migration of men from rural to urban areas to find employment. A study concluded that among 367 South African men semen samples, almost half displayed infectious microorganisms; the result was achieved because according to the study, males have more contact with sex workers and casual sexual partners,    

What is Trichomoniasis?

Trichomoniasis is a sexually-transmitted infection caused by a protozoan parasite, Trichomonas vaginalis. In the whole African region, about 42.8 million is infected. It occurs mostly in women than in men. According to studies, this infection is mostly asymptomatic, 85% in women, and 77% of men. When symptomatic, upper reproductive tract disease syndrome may also occur. A study conducted in 2017 concluded that out of 604 vaginal samples, 196 reported some vaginal infection symptoms; 38 of these had trichomonas vaginalis. 

Symptoms

When symptomatic, it usually takes about 4 to 28 days before some signs appear. Do note that some people do not experience any symptoms at all, so it is still best to get tested. For trichomoniasis, symptoms may include:

For women:

  • Foul-smelling vaginal discharge – colors might be gray, white, yellow, or green
  • Genital burning, itching, and redness
  • Pain when urinating or when having sexual intercourse

For men:

  • Irritation inside the penis
  • Burning feeling when urinating or after ejaculating
  • Penile discharge

Diagnosis

You can’t be diagnosed with trichomoniasis just by basing on your symptoms. A health care provider can only detect the infection by doing laboratory tests. Tests like rapid antigen and nucleic acid amplification tests can also be done if the first tests aren’t conclusive.   

Treatment

The commonly prescribed medicine for trichomoniasis is either metronidazole or tinidazole. Many are asked to have megadoses. It has also been noted to not take alcohol for 24 hours after taking metronidazole, and 48 more hours after taking tinidazole. These medicines can cause nausea and vomiting. Secnidazole is another medicine that could be used to treat trichomoniasis. Secnidazole is an antibiotic used to treat bacterial vaginosis, which is a certain type of vaginal infection. It stops the growth of bacteria.      

Once diagnosed and after treatment, a retest should be done after about two weeks to three months; this is done to reassure that you have not been reinfected. 

References:

https://www.who.int/bulletin/volumes/97/8/18-228486/en/

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/279839364_Trichomonas_vaginalis_in_Sub-Saharan_Africa_occurrence_and_diagnostic_approaches_for_the_male_partner

https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/7/10/e016959

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/trichomoniasis/symptoms-causes/syc-20378609

https://www.cdc.gov/std/trichomonas/stdfact-trichomoniasis.htm

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/trichomoniasis/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20378613

https://www.ajmc.com/focus-of-the-week/secnidazole-may-successfully-treat-sti-disproportionately-affecting-black-women

How long it takes for STD symptoms to appear or show up on a Test?

STD Testing

Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are a common occurrence across the globe, particularly in developing countries such as Ghana. The public stigma associated with getting tested leaves sexually active people at high risk of developing some STD or unknowingly transmitting it to someone else. Sexually active men and women should get tested at least once a year and even frequently, so if they have multiple partners. Most people wonder how long it takes for symptoms of STD to show up or when they get detected through testing, and we are about to provide the answers. Read on to learn more.

How long it takes for STD to show up?

At first glance, it may seem logical that as soon as STD-causing bacteria (or virus) enter the body, you can get a test that would detect it. However, the processing route is more complicated than that. Generally speaking, we get infected when bacteria or other pathogens enter our bodies. Every infection has its own timeframe for susceptibility or incubation time, and STDs are not the exception.

For some STDs, the body starts producing antibodies to counteract infection and develops symptoms in a matter of a few days, but for others, it may take up to several months for the first signs to appear. Below, you can see the incubation period for various STDs:

  • Chlamydia – 7-21 days
  • Genital herpes – 2-12 days
  • Gonorrhea – 1-14 days
  • Syphilis – 3 weeks – 20 years depending on the type
  • Oral herpes – 2-12 days
  • Trichomoniasis – 5-28 days

During the incubation period, a person may not experience symptoms at all. Bear in mind that some people don’t develop any symptoms at all. So, if you’re in a high-risk group of developing some STD, it’s a good idea to get tested, but not too early as you may test negative i.e., the STD might not be detected. Wait for the incubation period to end or consult a doctor who will advise you regarding the right time to get tested.

When to get retested?

People with some STDs may need to get retested after a while to make sure their infection has been cured completely. Some patients don’t need to get retested, though. Here are a few examples:

  • Chlamydia – 3 months
  • Genital and oral herpes – no retesting necessary (lifelong infections)
  • Gonorrhea – 3 months
  • Syphilis – 4 weeks
  • Trichomoniasis – 2 weeks

Why get tested?

Most people underestimate the importance of getting tested. The danger of STDs is that they don’t always induce symptoms, and it’s easy to spread them to sex partners. When left untreated, they can cause a number of complications. Therefore, make sure to get tested and protect your health, general wellbeing, and partner. Nowadays, it’s easy to learn whether you have STD because it’s possible to get tests online and do the whole thing in the comfort of your home.

Every type of STD has its own incubation time during which people usually don’t notice any symptoms. Testing too early could yield negative results even if the person has STD, so test at an appropriate time if you suspect to have some sexually-transmitted disease. Or even better, get tested for STD once a year and even more frequently if you have multiple sex partners.

References

https://www.healthtestingcenters.com/how-long-should-i-wait-test-std/

https://www.nhs.uk/common-health-questions/sexual-health/how-soon-do-sti-symptoms-appear/

https://www.healthline.com/health/how-long-does-it-take-for-std-to-show-up