Trichomonas Vulvovaginitis

What is trichomonas vulvovaginitis?

Trichomonas vulvovaginitis is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) of the vulva (external female genitals) and vagina. It is caused by a small parasite called Trichomonas vaginalis. This condition mostly affects women between the ages of 16 and 35 years. It is passed from person to person during sexual intercourse. The most common symptoms are an unusual vaginal discharge, vaginal itch and pain during sexual intercourse. Antibiotics are needed to treat the infection. Sexual partners should also be treated. Most people recover well after treatment for the trichomonas infection, and do not have any further problems.

Risks

Trichomonas vaginalis is a small parasite which is spread via unprotected sexual intercourse. When it causes an infection of the female genitals, this is called trichomonas vulvovaginitis. This condition most commonly affects women between the ages of 16 and 35. Unsafe sexual behavior increases the risk of getting trichomonas vulvovaginitis.

Symptoms

Common symptoms of a trichomonas infection are an unusual, green-yellow vaginal discharge and itching or burning of the vagina. Women with a trichomonas infection may also have pain when urinating or during sexual intercourse.

Diagnosis

The diagnosis may be suspected from the symptoms and the appearance of the genitals during a gynecological examination. The diagnosis is confirmed when a sample of the vaginal discharge shows the presence of the trichomonas parasite. A urine sample or sample of the vaginal mucus may be taken and investigated for other sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

Treatment

A trichomonas infection is treated with antibiotic tablets. It is important to tell and treat the sexual partner(s) to prevent re-infection and further spread of the infection.

Prevention

Practicing safe sex can prevent trichomonas infection.

Other names for trichomonas vulvovaginitis

  • Trichomonas vaginitis
  • Trichomoniasis