How trichomoniasis is treated
The new discovery may change the approach of doctors to the treatment of trichomoniasis, a sexually transmitted disease caused by Trichomonas vaginalis. Infection is one of the most common curable STDs, but it can make women susceptible to HIV, as well as cause complications in pregnant women. An important feature of trichomoniasis is that it rarely causes symptoms — about 70% of infected people (mostly women) do not show them.
However, if there are symptoms, they should appear between 5 and 28 days after infection and include pain, burning, or itching in the penis, urethra, or vagina. Discomfort in both sexes may increase during sexual intercourse. Women, in particular, may experience vaginal discharge with an unpleasant odor, foamy consistency, and yellow-green color.
Trichomoniasis is unlikely to disappear without treatment, but for more than three decades therapy has been a single dose of an antibiotic (metronidazole or tinidazole). However, experts now believe there may be a better way to treat this condition. Researchers from Tulane University’s School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, for example, studied more than 600 women with HIV and trichomoniasis in a randomized trial.
During the experiment, half of the women took the usual single dose of the antibiotic metronidazole, and the other half received treatment for seven days. The results, published this year in The Lancet, Infectious Diseases, show that women who constantly take an antibiotic halve the likelihood of the disease remaining after treatment.
Although according to earlier data, in about 95-97% of cases, the infection resolves after a single dose of metronidazole, and only 4-5% of cases are resistant to the antibiotic, more and more clinics recommend using from 5 to 7 days, advising patients on a full course of treatment. Experts also advise to check for the disease not only infected but also their current and former partners