What is Trichomonas?
Trichornonas Vagin alis is the name for this miserable, troublemaking parasite that commonly infests the vaginal canal. It is claimed that about 50 per cent of irritating vaginal discharges are due to it, but it is also commonly found in women with apparently non-irritating vaginal secretions. It seems that it produces problems only when the vaginal fluids are acid, and the more acid they become, the greater and more rapid is the rate of proliferation. During and after menstruation, after sexual stimulation and after illness are the times it plays greatest role.
It is a sexually transmitted disease, being imparted to the female by an infected male partner who is usually quite free from symptoms. Once introduced into the vagina, it can remain there for a long time, frequently without causing trouble until the secretions gradually become acid at certain times.
The chief complaint is a profuse thin, watery or frothy, yellowish-coloured, terribly irritable discharge. Itch and irritation inside and outside the vagina are common.
The doctor can confirm the diagnosis by examining some of the fluid under the microscope, where it is seen as a flagellate, having four moving flagellae (arms) in front and a long tail at the end.
This infection has been notoriously difficult to eradicate. But since the advent of the specific medication metronidazole, the position has altered dramatically.
One 200 mg tablet is taken three times a day for a week. If necessary the course is repeated. A prescription is necessary and proper medical supervision is essential, particularly for follow-up checks as to the efficacy of therapy. A 90 per cent cure rate often occurs. Local, external irritation may be relieved by simple anti-pruritic (anti-itch) creams and lotions.
Natamycin suppositories are sometimes used with success also, and may assist in reducing external irritations.