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Trichomoniasis (cont.)

What Happens

Trichomoniasis (trich) infection is spread when you have unprotected sex with an infected partner. Many women and most men do not have any symptoms of trich. If symptoms appear, they usually start within 1 week after a person is infected. But it may take up to a month for symptoms to appear. In most cases, trich should be treated to prevent transmitting this sexually transmitted infection (STI) to others and to prevent some problems that can happen if you are pregnant. You and your sex partner(s) should be treated for trich at the same time, to avoid reinfecting each other.

Trich during pregnancy raises the risk of premature rupture of membranes (PROM) and premature delivery. Treating the infection doesn't appear to reduce this risk.3 If you are pregnant and have trich, talk to your doctor about the pros and cons of treatment.

Trich may be transmitted from a mother to her baby during a vaginal delivery, but this is rare.

What Increases Your Risk

Those most affected by trichomoniasis (trich) are sexually active women ages 16 to 35. It is thought that 1 out of 5 women in this age group will become infected at some time.4

Behaviors that will increase your risk of getting trich include:

  • Not using condoms when having sex with a new partner or a partner who may have been exposed to a sexually transmitted infection (STI). It is possible for a partner to transmit the trich parasite without having any symptoms of the infection.
  • Having many sex partners, which increases your risk of being exposed to someone who has trich. Teenagers and young adults are at higher risk for getting trich and other STIs, because their sex partners often have had other recent partners who may carry an STI.

You can get other STIs, such as gonorrhea, chlamydia, HIV, and syphilis, at the same time you get a trich infection. If one STI is diagnosed, testing for other STIs should be done so that all infections can be treated at the same time.

Some infections that can be spread through sexual contact, such as the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection, are life-threatening. Studies show that trich infection may increase the risk of transmitting HIV infection.5 Health professionals around the world are concerned about the increased risk of trichomoniasis and HIV.

Women who have trich may also be at risk for other vaginal infections. About 20% of women with trich also have a yeast infection and many also have bacterial vaginosis.6

eMedicineHealth Medical Reference from Healthwise

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