Trichomoniasis is among the most common sexually transmitted diseases - sexually transmitted infections, and mostly men are exposed to it, but women are also not protected from this ailment. The situation is complicated by the fact that it is very difficult to recognize the problem at the early stage due to the scarcity of external manifestations, and the severe forms often lead to serious complications for both sexes and require long and thorough treatment. How not to start the disease?
Symptoms of trichomoniasis in women
The first signs of negative changes in the body appear after 14-28 days from the moment of infection: experts call this period “incubation”, when the virus, warmed by the medium he likes, gains strength. During the examination immediately after sexual intercourse, the doctor most likely will not find any hints of infection, so this examination cannot be considered indicative. And in order not to visit the gynecologist once again, you need to monitor your state of health for 14-20 days after sexual intercourse.
- The most obvious external manifestation of violations in the microflora of the vagina, doctors call mucous discharge, which have a sharp unpleasant odor (most often it is defined as fishy), and may also have a foamy or very liquid structure. Hue ranges from yellow-white to greenish. In some cases, they are accompanied by small bloody clots.
- In addition, there are changes directly with the labia: they acquire a pronounced red hue, may increase in volume due to the inflammatory process that occurs inside the inflammatory process, causing edema. When the perineum is in contact with the underwear, burning and sharp pain often occur, which also appear during intercourse. At any time of day itching may occur, intensifying and subsiding arbitrarily.
- If the infection has affected the bladder, there are bouts of pain during a bowel movement, and urge to urinate becomes more frequent.
You should pay attention to the fact that most often this disease appears "in the company" with equally complex infections of the genitourinary system: gonorrhea, ureaplasmosis, etc. Since Trichomonas not only weakens the vaginal microflora, killing lactobacilli and promoting the development of pathogenic organisms, but also absorbs other viruses and acts as a transport for them, thereby provoking damage to the internal organs of the reproductive system - the fallopian tubes, the uterus, the ovaries. Directly, Trichomonas affects them very rarely, since the alkaline environment in the cervix, as well as its muscle contractions, do not let the virus go further. The exception is infection after its disclosure, arising from childbirth, abortion, menstrual cycle. In this case, trichomoniasis is actively moving into the acute stage and provokes endometritis, salpingitis, the appearance of cysts in the ovaries.
How does the disease manifest in men?
Diagnosis of trichomoniasis in men is carried out less often only for the reason that they are not inclined to undergo frequent examinations, and it is possible to fix their infection only at one of its last stages. At the same time, the consequences for the representatives of the strong half of humanity are no less severe, in the absence of proper treatment (as well as a late diagnosis) infertility is possible.
However, most often the problems with the body are found out at the stage of "unreasonable", as it may seem at first glance, prostatitis. The difficulty of diagnosis lies in the fact that the symptoms of trichomoniasis in men are not as pronounced as in women, so the carrier of the infection may not even be aware of its “status”. Is it possible to notice the problem yourself?
- In men, the prostate gland and urethra have a blow, so the only possible external manifestations are pain and burning during bowel movements, as well as uncharacteristic liquid whitish discharge from the urethra.
- Due to the fact that this disease in men almost does not signal itself, it can be suspected when symptoms of prostatitis occur: increased urination and irregularity, false desires (especially in the morning), frequent constipation, accompanied by severe pain, the appearance of pus from rectum.
Here it is necessary not to mention the indirect signs that are observed in the acute stage of trichomoniasis: decreased libido, prolonged night erection, pain during ejaculation. A disease that is not diagnosed in time may be the cause of prostate cancer, cystitis, pyelonephritis.
Why and how does the infection occur?
Transmission of the pathogen is possible with any unprotected sexual intercourse, but the probability of getting it during oral and anal is much lower than with vaginal. And contact with personal items intimate hygiene does not bear any particular risk. The bacterium is able to live and reproduce only at a certain level of acid-base balance, which it provides the genitals and, especially, the vagina. Experts clarify that this is a period from 5.5 to 6.6 pH units.-
- At risk are primarily people with reduced immunity, as well as those in whose body inflammatory processes occur. In this scenario, the incubation of trichomonads can take only 5-7 days, after which its active development takes place, and the disease immediately enters the acute stage.
- As mentioned above, women who have undergone an abortion, and those who have recently given birth, have a higher probability of not only getting the pathogen (from their sexual partner), but also complications, because their cervix is open and pathogenic microorganisms are easily missed. Penetration of Trichomonas deep into it is possible at the time of orgasm, as well as during the menstrual cycle.
It should be noted that in case of infection with trichomoniasis, the urinary system problems in both sexes are exacerbated, which can also be a signal to be checked by a gynecologist. However, more often a similar nuance is associated with external factors not related to sexual intercourse.
Stages and forms of trichomoniasis
Experts call the initial stage “fresh” trichomoniasis, in which the pathogen barely turned into an active form after incubation. The duration of this stage is 60 days from the moment of infection, and how it will take place depends on the general condition of the body (including mucous membranes), the properties of the pathogenic bacteria, the acid-base balance of the vagina. Doctors distinguish 3 forms of infection in this period: torpid, subacute and acute.
- Torpid is characterized by a sluggish course, almost not accompanied by any symptoms, which is typical for men. However, it can also be observed in women, as a result of which, after 2 months, trichomoniasis acquires new facets, becoming chronic. It is important to bear in mind that, despite the absence of its external manifestations, the disease is sexually transmitted, therefore all sexual partners of an infected person (even though he is not aware of this) are at risk.
- Subacute and acute forms differ only in the intensity of symptoms: the frequency of pain, an abundance of discharge, the absence or appearance of blood clots or pus. In this case, it is customary to talk about the acute form, if already after 5-7 days the infected person has noticed manifestations of trichomoniasis, and after a few days they have subsided, which gives a false hope of recovery.
The next stage, in which the “fresh” disease invariably passes in the absence of proper treatment, is chronic, diagnosed at the time of infection from 2 months. Some experts talk about the last stage - when a person becomes the transmitter of a pathogen, but practically does not experience the symptoms of the disease, however, he receives the status of a trichomonadal bearer at the time of infection, and there are no external manifestations in the torpid form, and sometimes even in the chronic, therefore The statement is debatable.
- The symptoms of chronic trichomoniasis in women are almost the same as those of the initial stage, but pain in the lower abdomen, which goes to the lower back, is already possible, especially if the internal organs (uterus, ovaries) are affected. In men, it manifests itself in the form of symptoms of chronic prostatitis. At the same time, in chronic form, signs of exacerbations may appear, which cause hypothermia, reduced immunity, alcohol abuse, sexual intercourse, menstrual cycle.
The danger of the disease is really high: in addition to the fact that infertility in both sexes often becomes the most difficult outcome, in pregnant women, an exacerbation of trichomoniasis can be the impetus for preterm labor.
How is the treatment carried out?
First of all, when any suspicion of Trichomonas infection is required, a gynecologist / urologist must be visited and examined accordingly. In order for the doctor to diagnose with certainty, several tests are carried out, among which a general smear is mandatory. In women, it allows not only to study the composition of vaginal discharge, but also the reaction of the cervix, from which blood is separated from contact with mirrors. Sowing, PCR and / or REEF are also performed for a more reliable and accurate result, since a single swab can indicate several sexually transmitted diseases at once.
- In the absence of complications for therapy, Metronidazole is used under any of the commercial names, and additional measures are taken in the form of physiotherapy, massage of the urethra, intravaginal suppositories. It also makes sense to use adaptogens and immunostimulants, but the course should be prescribed by a doctor - self-treatment is unacceptable.
- The effectiveness of the treatment of trichomoniasis depends on how clearly you follow the recommendations of a specialist. Even if it seems to you that the condition has improved, and the doctor insists on the continuation of therapy, you should not discourage it: otherwise, everything will turn into the already mentioned chronic form and subsequent complications for the reproductive system.
Here I would like to note that, having cured, a person does not acquire immunity to this bacterium, therefore, if the rules of prophylaxis are not followed, prevention of trichomoniasis is again likely to become infected.
Summing up, it is worth recalling that with the onset of sexual activity, both sexes are recommended to be examined by a specialist at least once a quarter, and to protect against any sexually transmitted diseases, including trichomoniasis, to take care of their partner’s health and intimate hygiene. When changing partners and lacking accurate information about their state of the body, prevention should be carried out through the use of condoms and douching with Miramistin after unprotected sexual intercourse.