FACTS: Trichomoniasis, or Trich, is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases. It is caused by the Trichomonas protozoa – and millions of people start a relationship with this little parasite every year.
Although men and women can both become infected, it tends to victimize young women as it is typically asymptomatic in men. Indeed, men can carry the disease unknowingly for years – though some men do develop itching and burning sensations which demand attention.
Fortunately, it’s very easy to break up with Trich: one dose of antibiotics usually does the trick. Unfortunately, the cure is not a vaccine and it does not provide protection from further unwanted attentions.
In fact, the newly-cured patient can immediately become re-infected if re-exposed to the organism. (Some call Trich the “ping pong” parasite because it can so easily be passed back and forth by those who play doctor.)
Although some women who are involved with Trich may be asymptomatic like men, generally discharges provide warnings sufficient to justify medical action. And these signals should not be ignored: trichomoniasis can increase the risk of contracting both herpes and HIV – as well as the risk of pelvic inflammatory disease, premature birth and low birth weight, and indeed infertility. So if you find yourself in a bad relationship, end it before it breaks your heart.
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