Trichomoniasis, more commonly known as “trich” is a very prevalent STD. Despite its extreme commonality, however, many people are unfamiliar with it. It is important not only for people to educate themselves on this STD but also to undergo trich testing if they are at risk for it.
The Spread of Trich
As is the case with all sexually transmitted diseases, trich can be spread through anal, oral, or vaginal sex. Unlike other diseases, however, condoms only provide some protection against it. While the risk of contracting trich when a condom or dental dam is worn correctly is greatly minimized, it is still possible to contract the disease while practicing safe sex. Furthermore, trich is unique in that the virus that causes it can survive on any infected object, such as underwear, a bath towel, or a sex toy. Because the virus is so durable, even those who do not engage in unprotected sex may be at risk for it, making trich testing all the more important.
The vast majority of people who have contracted trich will not have any noticeable symptoms. This fact makes spreading the disease even easier and makes trich testing all the more important. However, trich symptoms do sometimes occur. They are more common in infected women than in men and typically include:
- Vaginal discharge with an unpleasant odor
- Spotting between periods
- Vaginal itching
- Swelling of the lymph nodes in the groin
- Urinating more frequently
- Pain or burning upon urination
- Urethra discharge
Because many of these symptoms can also be indicative of other STDs, anyone who experiences one or more of these symptoms is encouraged to undergo trich testing, as well as other STD tests. However, even if symptoms are not present, those who are at risk for trich should be tested.
Trich and Other STDs
Perhaps one of the worst things about trich is that, once contracted, it can increase a person’s risk of contracting other STDs. Trich often leads to inflammation of the genitals and genital tearing, which can, in turn, make it possible for other viruses to enter the body more easily. Trich is treatable though, and the sooner it is treated, the sooner the risk of contracting other STDs can be reduced.
As mentioned, not everyone who contracts Trich will have symptoms. Furthermore, in those who do, symptoms can take a while to develop and become noticeable. While some people will demonstrate symptoms in as little as three days after contraction, others can take up to a month! Because of the long incubation period of the disease, many people who think they are “in the clear” continue having unprotected sex or engaging in sexual activity and thus may more easily pass the disease onto others.
Obviously, trich is quite prolific and serious. For this reason and for the health of oneself and one’s sexual partners, trich testing is extremely important. In fact, all STD testing is important for those who choose to engage in unprotected sexual activity.