Most of us already know how to steer clear of sexually transmitted bacteria and viruses, but what about protecting your genitals from becoming infested with thousands of parasites? You may joke about having ants in your pants but trichomoniasis, a.k.a. trich, is all too real.
It’s so real, in fact, that I had to wait until after lunch to even tackle this horrific topic, which seems like it is straight out of a sci-fi fantasy. A single celled protozoan called trichomona is a microscopic animal that can be passed on through unprotected sexual contact. These protozoans are spread through vaginal contact, either from unprotected sex (woman-to-man, man-to-woman) or through the sharing of adult toys used in the vagina (woman-to-woman).
While men can be carriers of trich, they often do not experience symptoms. In fact, according to the CDC, only 30% of the 3.7 million people they asked with trich reported feeling any unusual symptoms. In rare cases, a desire to urinate more frequently or a slight discharge from the male urethra has been reported.
Women, on the other hand, can have a slew of unpleasant symptoms from these vaginal invaders. Females who are carrying trich are likely to have these vaginal indicators: blood spotting, a frothy and foul smelling discharge, swelling and interior and exterior itchiness and yellow or green discharge. Symptoms most commonly appear within 28 days of infection.
Aside from yeast infections, trich is the leading cause of vaginitis (vaginal infections). Pregnant women with trich are more likely to deliver premature or low birth weight babies. The good news is, testing and treatment for trich is simple and effective, even for pregnant women. But, without testing and treatment, the infection will not go away on its own, even if symptoms wax and wane over time.
A laboratory test and a single dose of metronidazole (yes, that’s the same drug given to your dog or cat by a vet for parasitic infections) or tinidazole is all it takes to rid yourself of this wretched parasite, but this does not provide any kind of future trich infestation preventative. 1 in 5 people who have been treated for trich have to be treated again due to reinfection from an untreated sexual partner.
The CDC recommends latex condoms, like the Caution Wear COMOX PPE, as the only means of protection against the contraction of trich, aside from abstinence.
And ladies, unless you want to put a parasite-friendly real estate sign up in your vulva, don’t you want to insist that he wear a condom? If you’re hesitant to ask him, but you want to stay safer, read up on ‘Ways to Ask Your Partner to Use a Condom,’ or take charge and wear a FC2. Furthermore, if you are sharing an adult toy with a female partner, use a new latex condom like the LifeStyles KYNG Blue every time you swap, in addition to a high quality toy cleaner like Pjur Med Clean.
Aside from wearing condoms, it’s also important for both you and your partner to be tested if either of you is experiencing any of these symptoms, or if either of you have not had a full panel STD test this year.