Trichomoniasis is a sexually transmitted infection caused by a parasitic organism Trichomonas vaginalis. This infection commonly affects women between ages sixteen and thirty-five, although males can become infected as well. It is often referred to as vaginitis or “trich.”
The parasite that causes trichomoniasis cannot live in the rectum or the mouth, so the only modes of transmission are penis-to-vagina intercourse or vulva-to-vulva contact with someone who is already infected. The symptoms of the infection vary for males and females.
Women will often experience itching on or around the genitals, including the inner thighs, labia, vulva, or vagina. In some cases, the labia may appear swollen as well. Along with this discomfort, women will develop a vaginal discharge that is green-white or yellowish in color with a foul or strong smelling odor. Often females will also feel pain or irritation during urination or sexual intercourse.
In males, there are rarely symptoms, and the infection may go away in a few weeks without treatment. In some cases, males may suffer from urethral discharge or itching, burning with urination or ejaculation and in rare cases may develop conditions such as prostatitis or epididymitis as a result.