STDs Expert Forum
Trichomonas
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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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Trichomonas

My wife just informed me that she has tested positive for Trichomonas. I'm certain that she has not been with anyone and I know I have not been with anyone. I've look thru some other sites on the web and some state that the test for this is not certain with many false positive. Is this correct? How long can this parasite be in your system before you show any symptoms? Is the only way to contact this is thru sexual contact? Help me please!

Currently I have no symptoms.
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Trichomoniasis (the condition caused by Trichomonas vaglinalis) is sexually acquired; the exceptions are uncommon.  However, the organism can be carried for years without symtpoms, certainly in women and perhaps in men, and then show up out of the blue.  Also, as you suggest, false positive tests are possible.  This is especially the case if the result is just from a pap test, which is not reliable for diagnosis.  But if your wife's health care provider did an actual trichomonas test, it probably is a true result.

Either way, trich by itself is not evidence that either member of a couple has recently had other sex partners.  To prevent her from becoming reinfected (since you may be carrying it), both of you should be treated.  After that, I wouldn't worry about it.

Good luck--  HHH, MD
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Thank You for your response.  As in any marraige it is hard for you to accept that you have contacted an STD.  I know that it can be "years" before it shows up or maybe not at all you can be a "carrier" or asymptomic.  But I am getting confused by some of the other post.  One stated that if a woman gets symptoms it should be within 6 months of contact or she wouldn't show any at all.  Is that true?  

Also, I was told by my mother that when I was born she had syphillis (syphilis) and I tested positive as a baby.  Once in my 20's I tested positive.  I now test negative.  I always thought that once you test positive for syphillis (syphilis) you always test positive.  I now test negative.  Could the Trichomonas have anything to do with the positive syphillis (syphilis) test?

Thank You
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The trichomonas has nothing to do with your mom's syphilis, or with your possible congenital syphilis infection.

There are 2 basic kinds of syphilis blood tests.  As you found at age 20, it is expected that a routine test would be negative; that means you didn't have an active infection at that time.  A more specific syphilis test probably would have been positive at age 20 and might still be positive today, if such a test were done.  It means nothing and I do not recommend further testing.

HHH, MD
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Hello there,
Last year I had reoccuring yeast infections every month for about a year and when I was finally seen by a doctor, they saw a bacterial infection and several trichs in my wet mount from my gyno exam.  Both my husband and I have been sexually active with only each other  for almost 4 years now, and it was odd that I had an STI protozoal hanging out in my flora ( sorry, I am a microbiologist).  The doctor then told me that I could have contracted it from being in a hot tub or swimming pool (which I was in one a year prior to this diagnosis on my honeymoon) and the trich could be causing my yeast infections since then.  Both my husband and I were treated with metronidazole simultaneaously for a very long 10 days, but  after that, I have been fine since then, no more yeast infections (and that was July 2006).  Fast forwarding to the present, I had my annual gyno exam today with a new PA at my doctor's office, and she said that she saw several trichomonas in my wet mount again.  She wants to give me another metronidazole treatment even though I feel fine, my cycles are normal, there is no odor or signs of active trich infection, and no yeast infections for almost a year now.  Is it possible for trichomonas to stay dormant in the vagina and live among the flora in an unifectious state?  Or do I have to go through another treatment of metronidazole because she saw two trichs on the wet mount?   Please respond back, thank you.
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University of Washington
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