How do I prevent an itchy vagina

Trichomonas infection of the vagina

Trichomonas infection of the vagina(Trichomoniasis, trichomonad colpitis): An infection of the vagina with the pathogen, mainly through sexual intercourse Trichomonas vaginalis. Trichomonads are found in 8–12% of all healthy women of sexually mature age. About a third of all vaginal infections are due to an infection with these flagellates. Often they do not cause any discomfort and, after adequate treatment, a trichomonas infection almost always heals.

Leading complaints

  • Itching and burning of the vagina and external genital organs, intensified after intercourse
  • Foamy, greenish-yellow to brownish, sometimes foul-smelling discharge
  • Increased need to urinate, painful urination
  • Reddened and swollen vagina
  • Red spots on the vaginal walls.

When to the doctor

In the next few days if

  • thin, greenish-yellow discolored discharge occurs.
  • itching and burning sensation in the vagina.
  • Pain after intercourse.

Today if

  • Painful urination may occur.

The illness

Disease emergence

Trichomonads are the smallest flagellates, who prefer an environment that is as humid as possible and a moderately acidic or neutral pH value. Since the mucous membranes of the urinary tract and the genital tract offer ideal conditions for men and women, the trichomonads can survive there for a long period of time. Outside the body, on the other hand, they perish very quickly due to the lack of moisture.

Trichomonads are facultatively pathogenic, i. that is, they do not always cause infection. The acute inflammation manifests itself as severe itching and burning in the genital area, especially after sexual intercourse. Since the urethra is also often affected, the symptoms can be similar to those of (chronic) cystitis.

causes

Trichomonads are transmitted through sexual intercourse and, more rarely, through infected swimwear or towels.

Risk factors

Unprotected sex with an infected partner.

Complications

Trichomonads form runners in the vagina, which bore into the uppermost cell layer of the mucous membrane tissue (epithelium) and there extract nutrients and serum (watery component of the blood). In the further course, tiny punctiform scars develop in the vaginal skin, which remain lifelong, so that there is an increased susceptibility to infection, even if the trichomonas infection has already been successfully treated.

The infection can lead to premature labor and premature delivery in pregnant women. There is also the risk that the child could become infected with the pathogens during birth.

Diagnostic assurance

The characteristic discharge and a reddened and possibly swollen vaginal wall already indicate a trichomonas infection. The doctor confirms the diagnosis by examining the vaginal swab under the microscope. The trichomonads are easy to recognize by their long, whip-like flagella, their pear-like shape and their staggering movement. However, since their number varies greatly within a few days, a trichomonas infection is sometimes not immediately recognized by the gynecologist.

The pH value measured in the vagina during the smear provides additional clarity: a pH value above 6.0 indicates an infection. In addition, the smear can be used to exclude other pathogens that may be present at the same time or other types of infection, such as infestation with chlamydia, gonococci or syphilis pathogens.

treatment

Mild infections are treated with a single dose of the antibiotic metronidazole (e.g. Clont®); chronic infections may require treatment for 5–10 days; the doctor may also prescribe vaginal suppositories with the same active ingredient. In most cases, high-dose single-use therapy is more successful than lower-dose administration over a week.

Since it is a sexually transmitted disease, the (even apparently healthy) partner is usually treated as well. Do not have sexual intercourse during the infection.

forecast

If the therapy is carried out consistently, the infection can be cured in 95% of cases.

Your pharmacy recommends

What you can do yourself

Anyone who is prone to trichomonas infection informs their sexual partner about the disease so that they can be examined and treated and there is no mutual infection.

Prevention

  • Use condoms during intercourse.
  • Refrain from extensive visits to the sauna and swimming pool.
  • Take the regular check-ups.

Authors

Dr. med. Astrid Waskowiak, Dr. med. Arne Schäffler in: Gesundheit heute, edited by Dr. med. Arne Schäffler. Trias, Stuttgart, 3rd edition (2014). Revision and update of the sections "Description", "The disease", "Symptoms and leading complaints", "Confirmation of diagnosis", "Treatment", "Prognosis", "Your pharmacy recommends": Dagmar Fernholz | last changed on at 13:45


Important note: This article has been written according to scientific standards and has been checked by medical professionals. The information communicated in this article can in no way replace professional advice in your pharmacy. The content cannot and must not be used to make independent diagnoses or to start therapy.