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Can trichomoniasis be dormant?
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The STD Forum is intended only for questions and support pertaining to sexually transmitted diseases other than HIV/AIDS, including chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, human papillomavirus, genital warts, trichomonas, other vaginal infections, nongonoccal urethritis (NGU), cervicitis, molluscum contagiosum, chancroid, and pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). All questions will be answered by H. Hunter Handsfield, M.D. or Edward W Hook, MD.

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Can trichomoniasis be dormant?

Is there any literature in medical science that trichomonas can be dormant (like syphilis)in females? If so, how and what tests could discover or indicate patient was infected before symptoms appear?
Thank you
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Yes, trichomonas often is "dormant", that is causes no symptoms with standard tests negative.  It probably can be carried in the vagina for years, and perhaps by men as well.  The standard test used by most providers is to simply look at vaginal fluid under the microscope, but that misses many (most?) cases.  Ask for a culture test, which is more successful and available in most standard laboratories.  However, culture misses many cases as well.  Some special labs now offer testing for trich DNA using polymerase chain reaction (PCR), which is the best by far; but it's not yet widely available.  There is debate among STD experts about how important it is to routinely start using culture or PCR to detect silent cases.  Most trich isn't serious, and prevention doesn't have the same priority as, say, chlamydia or gonorrhea or syphilis.

Good luck-- HHH, MD
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H. Hunter Handsfield, M.D.Blank
University of Washington
Seattle, WA
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