There's an STI you've probably never heard of before
Thanks to the increasing discussion regarding the issue of sexually transmitted infections, the subject is becoming less of a taboo subject in society. While STI's used to be universally feared, it is now largely accepted that the majority of people are likely to contract some form of STI at some point in their adult lives.
The development of sex education in schools has contributed to this relaxation on the subject, with there now being lessons on how you contract an STI and what the steps are to dealing with it. But despite the fact we may know plenty about the likes of chlamydia, herpes and gonorrhoea, there is one STI that you've probably never heard of.
Arguably the most frightening thing about this STI is that up to half of the men and women who have it, have no symptoms whatsoever. Also, out of those that do have the infection, many will believe that it is something else entirely.
Trichomoniasis is caused by a parasite called Trichomonas vaginalis (TV) and it is commonly spread through having unprotected sex and sharing unwashed sex toys. According to the NHS, the parasite mainly infects the vagina and urethra in women. For men, however, the STI will commonly infect the urethra but may also infect the head of the penis or the prostate gland.
In terms of symptoms, it gets fairly tricky to describe them. As mentioned above, only half of the people who have the infection will actually experience symptoms. But, if some do appear, they tend to be similar to the symptoms that are commonly associated with the likes of chlamydia and gonorrhoea.
The NHS warns that if you are a woman, look out for vaginal discharge that may be thick, thin or frothy while being yellow-green in colour and having an unpleasant smell. They also state that other symptoms include soreness, swelling and itching around the vagina., It has also been claimed that the inner thighs may become itchy and it can be painful to have a wee or have sexual intercourse.
The symptoms in men include pain during urination or ejaculation, needing to pee more often than usual and white discharge coming from the penis. The NHS also say that the infection can cause soreness, swelling and redness around the head of the penis or foreskin.
If you believe that you may be suffering from Trichomoniasis, then it's best that you get yourself booked in for an appointment with your local doctor and get checked out. The infection is diagnosed with a swab and can be easily treated with a course of antibiotics. Pregnant women should be particularly cautious, however, as Trichomoniasis can cause the baby to born prematurely or have a low birth weight.
So while you think you may know everything there is to know about STI's, it turns out that you don't. Stay safe out, and always remember to not be silly and wrap that... you know the rest.