Trichomoniasis in Men

Trichomoniasis is an infectious disease that is transmitted through sexual activity with a partner who has infected with it. Trichomonas is a parasite that is sometimes referred to as "trich". It is considered the most common curable sexually transmitted diseases in young women who are sexually active. It is estimated that about 3.7 million individuals in the US suffer from trichomoniasis. But do you know trichomoniasis isn't just a disease among women? Trichomoniasis in men is also a common finding and there are ways to diagnose and treat the condition.

What Are the Symptoms of Trichomoniasis in Men?

The disease of trichomoniasis is the result of an infection by a protozoan parasite known as Trichomonas vaginalis. It causes vaginal infections in many women and in men, trichomoniasis affects the male urethra.

Most men who suffer from the disease have no symptoms. Only about a third of all sufferers of trichomoniasis have some type of symptoms, according to the CDC. When symptoms do occur, these are the common ones a man might experience:

  • Burning feeling upon ejaculation or urination
  • Itching or some type of irritation within the penis
  • Unpleasant feelings when having sex
  • A noticeable discharge from the penis after ejaculation or urination

How Do People Get Trichomoniasis?

When people get trichomoniasis, they get the parasite from another person who has infected with the protozoan. In women, the lower genitourinary tract is the most infected part, including the urethra, vagina, and vulva. In men, the part most infected is the urethra.

The parasite is passed from a man's penis to a woman's vagina or it can be passed from a woman's vagina to the penis. It can also be passed from vagina to vagina in women. It also has the capability of being located on the mouth, hands, or anus. No one knows why some people who have the infection come down with symptoms and others do not. It may depend on an individual's age and the status of their health. It should be noted that, even if you have no symptoms, you can give the infection to another person who has not been exposed to the parasite.

Any time you engage in sexual activity, you are at risk for getting trichomoniasis from your sexual partner. Risk factors for having trichomoniasis in men include:

  • Having other STDs
  • Having many different sexual partners
  • Having a previous infection involving trichomoniasis
  • Having sex without using a condom

How to Diagnose Trichomoniasis in Men

It is much harder to diagnose trichomoniasis in men than it is in women. This is why it is important to simply treat the man if a woman has been found to suffer from the infection. If a man has some kind of urethral discharge or if there is ongoing burning or itching in the urethra, the doctor can get a swab from the urethra to sample any discharge there, looking for the protozoan under the microscope.

How to Treat Trichomoniasis in Men

If the doctor diagnoses you with trichomoniasis, you will likely get a prescription of an antibiotic that covers for the organism, such as tinidazole or metronidazole. Both the infected individual and their sexual partner or partners should be treated as well. Tell your doctor about any other medications you might be taking before taking the antibiotic. The sexual partner needs to be treated because the disease is transmitted sexually.

The antibiotic used to treat the infection is only available by prescription. Both you and your sexual partner need to take the entire dosage of medication in order to avoid getting the infection back again. The prescription fortunately is given as a single dose. You cannot drink alcohol when you are taking the antibiotic or it will cause vomiting.

If you are able to take the entire dose, this usually means that the trichomoniasis is cured. You should avoid having sex with your partner until it is clear that both of you are cured. You can get a reinfection if you have sex before the cure has been confirmed.

What If Not Being Treated?

Trichomoniasis is a common and completely curable sexually transmitted disease. The symptoms are not dangerous but can be just very annoying. Having inflamed genitals, however, can increase your risk of getting the HIV infection if you are exposed to it through sexual activity. You can also have a greater risk of passing on the HIV infection to your sexual partner.

How to Prevent Trichomoniasis in Men

In order to prevent trichomoniasis, you need to use latex-type condoms every time you engage in sex or you run the risk of spreading the disease. It is still, however, possible to spread the infection or get the infection even when you are using the condom.

Another way of preventing this and other STDs entirely is to avoid having sex. Talk about these infections prior to having sex with a new sexual partner so that you can make good choices about whether or not you are willing to take the risk of getting trichomoniasis.

If you have any questions about trichomoniasis or you think you might be suffering from an infection with trichomoniasis, seek the advice and an examination with your doctor. 

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