Trichomniasis of the genitourinary tract is caused by Trichomonas vaginalis, a pear-shaped, highly motile protozoan that replicates by binary fission. The organism is prevalent in the United States, with about 3 million cases a year in women. The organism inhabits vaginal secretions of women and prostate secretions in men, and is transmitted through sexual activity. Most infections are detected in women only, since most men are asymptomatic. Viewing secretions under a microscope makes the diagnosis.
The incubation period of trichamoniasis is 5 to 28 days. As stated earlier, most men have no symptoms, but if they do, they present as urethritis, epididymitis or prostatitis. Women with trichomoniasis may experience abnormal, malodorous vaginal discharge as well as vulvar itching, painful urination, increased urinary frequency and painful intercourse.
Treatment of trichomoniasis is with antibiotics.