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The STI you've never heard of before

Cosmopolitan (UK) logo Cosmopolitan (UK) 2018-01-28 Natasha Rigler

The STI you've never heard of before © Peter Dazeley The STI you've never heard of before In this day and age, talk of STIs isn't quite the taboo subject that it used to be. Okay, so you're not going to chat about gonorrhoea with your gran over Sunday lunch, but there is far more education, advice and help out there than there's ever been.

However, while you may feel clued up on knowing your chlamydia from your herpes, there may be one STI that you've never actually heard of.

© Provided by National magazine company ltd (Hearst UK) And the frightening thing is, up to half of men and women have no symptoms whatsoever and, out of those that do, many will end up thinking its something else. 

Trichomoniasis is caused by a parasite called Trichomonas vaginalis (TV) and it's usually spread by having unprotected sex or by sharing unwashed sex toys.

According to NHS UK, the Parasite mainly infects the vagina and urethra in women. In men, the STI commonly infects the urethra, but it can also infect the head of the penis or the prostate gland.

So what symptoms can you expect? Well, here's the tricky bit. As mentioned above, only 50 per cent of people will actually experience symptoms and, if some do appear, they're similar symptoms to infections such as chlamydia and gonorrhoea.

a close up of a fish © Provided by National magazine company ltd (Hearst UK) But, if you're a woman, the NHS says to look out for vaginal discharge that may be thick, thin or frothy and yellow-green in colour, or that has an unpleasant smell, along with soreness, swelling and itching around the vagina.

Bizarrely, sometimes the inner thighs also become itchy too and it can be painful to have a wee or while having sex.

a man sitting on a bed © Provided by National magazine company ltd (Hearst UK) Symptoms in men include pain during urination or ejaculation, needing to wee more frequently than usual. It can also cause a thin white discharge from the penis and soreness, swelling and redness around the head of the penis or foreskin.

If you think you might be suffering from Trichomoniasis, or any other STI for that matter, it's best to get yourself down to your GP or sexual health clinic ASAP. If Trichomoniasis is diagnosed following a swab, the good news is it can be treated with a course of the antibiotic metronidazole.

Pregnant women should be extra cautious, however, as being infected with Trichomoniasis while expecting can cause the baby to be born prematurely or have a low birth weight.

Related: If You're Tidying Up 'Down There,' Be Careful! (Provided by Wochit News)

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