About the Symptoms of Trichomoniasis in Women

Trichomoniasis is a type of parasite transmitted through sexual intercourse and close sexual contact. Although it is treatable, it can be very uncomfortable and lead to further complications. Early detection is the best way to keep the disease under control and get the medical help needed to eliminate the parasite. Metronidazole is a one-dose drug used to treat trichomoniasis. For women, knowing the symptoms will ensure a faster treatment and quicker recovery.

A female doctor consults with a young female patient Credit: IuriiSokolov/iStock/Getty Images

Discharge

One of the first symptoms of trichomoniasis in women is a vaginal discharge. This discharge can range from a creamy to a slightly foamy texture. The color is usually yellow, green or gray. Women may experience a light discharge in between periods or a heavy one throughout the month. The discharge is a symptom that generally appears within a week after exposure. Until medical treatment is sought, a light sanitary pad or panty liner should be worn.

Itching

Women with trichomoniasis may also experience itching in and around the vagina. The itching can start off as occasional and become widespread. The itching can even occur in the folds of the labia and on the side of the legs. Application of an anti-inflammatory or cortisone cream can provide substantial relief from excessive itching.

Odor

Some women report anywhere from a slight to strong odor after they have been infected with trichomoniasis. Women have compared the odor to that of a yeast infection or have noted a slightly sour smell. In advanced cases, a foul, fishy odor can develop, especially after showering or washing the genital area.

Irritation or Sores

If the vaginal area has become irritated from excessive itching, the skin may begin to break down. This can lead to inflammation and painful open sores that may be difficult to heal. In advanced cases, trichomoniasis may surface as red bumps under the skin. They can become itchy, but women should attempt to refrain from scratching. Cuts in the skin can also lead to infection in the area, which would require an antibiotic to clear up.

Lower Abdominal Pain

If the trichomoniasis is in its advanced stages, such as 20 or more days after exposure, red bumps can begin to spread in the interior of the vaginal walls. This is caused by the advancement of the parasite. The bumps can lead to painful intercourse and also lower abdominal pain. This abdominal pain generally subsides a day or two after treatment.

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