Medical Fun Facts Episode 71: Trichomonas vaginalis

It’s Monday 19 June 2017.

Thanks for subscribing and listening to Medical Fun Facts.

Show notes are available at

In episode 69 I mentioned some delightful things you could swallow when licking and sucking your sexual partner’s (partners’) genitalia.

If your name is Taylor would you name your daughter Jennifer?

I referred to a sexually transmitted parasite which on the way down would wiggle and jiggle and tickle inside you.

Tonight, I want to talk about Trichomonas vaginalis.

I was reading a French review in a journal this week. Here is the citation.

The focus of the review was on prevention and treatment of trichomoniasis. It took me back to my time in the Northern Territory of Australia. My friend and colleague, Professor Frank Bowden had already enabled me to introduce PCR for the detection of gonococci and chlamydia trachomatis in clinical specimens like first void urine and swabs from genitalia. At the time, there were no commercially manufactured PCR-based in vitro diagnostic devices for Trichomonas vaginalis. However, Frank was good friends with Professor Suzanne Garland who was working on a multiplex PCR IVD which would detect gonococci, Chlamydia trachomatis and Trichomonas vaginalis. The problem was that a swab specimen wasn’t big enough, so tampons were used. This approach was not welcomed by the medical laboratory scientists I worked with because they had to spend a lot of time squeezing vaginal juices containing pathogenic microorganisms from used tampons.

Here’s a video of what the parasite looks like

So here are a few fun facts:

  • Trichomoniasis is the second most common nonviral sexually transmitted infection
  • It causes vaginitis, urethritis and prostatitis

Classical symptoms include

  • A malodourous and purulent discharge
  • Local pain and irritation

There can also be serious consequences such as:

  • Infertility
  • Premature rupture of membranes
  • Premature delivery
  • Low birth weight
  • Neonatal death

Treatment is usually with oral metronidazole or tinidazole.

Some strains of Trichomonas vaginalis carry the Trichomonasvirus which are released with treatment begins. The virus itself can cause inflammation.

Sometimes if treatment doesn’t appear to be working intravaginal metronidazole can have a better result.

The best way to prevent infection is to use condoms. Condoms will help prevent this cute little parasites wiggling and jiggling and tickling inside you.

And so, ends another episode of Medical Fun Facts. If you have suggestions or requests for future shows please let me know. You can find the show notes for every episode at my blog

You can find updates in the Facebook page. You can get the address in the show notes. Feel free to like and share each show.

Medical Fun Facts is available in the iTunes podcast store. If that’s the way you prefer to consume podcasts, please search for Medical Fun Facts and subscribe. 

If you think more people would enjoy this show, please head over to iTunes and give Medical Fun Facts a five-star rating and please leave a comment. By doing so iTunes will rank the show higher and make it easier to find.

Medical Fun Facts is also on Stitcher so if you use an Android device, you can download the Stitcher app and listen to the show in Stitcher. Android users should be able to find the Stitcher app in the Google Play store.

Like iTunes, if you visit the show on the Stitcher website and leave a review, the Stitcher algorithms will improve the show’s ranking and more people will be able to find it. Feel free to share the link via Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and any other social media platform.

I’ll put the link in the show notes.

The Stitcher link is

If you disagree with anything in these podcasts or if you would like to voice a different view, please feel free to write a comment. If I have said something incorrect I welcome correction. Please also feel free to share your comments on social media.

Just remember, for shows with video I go off script for good portions so please listen or watch to catch everything not written in the blog post.

The video can be found at

Tweet me at

Send me a comment on Facebook at

E-mail me at

Tampons and Trichomonas vaginalis

Tampons and Trichomonas vaginalis