Island Sexual Health Society Be informed, not surprised!

Trichomoniasis symptoms, prevention and treatment

2006 June 20

“Trich” is a “sexually transmitted infection (STI) “:/infections caused by the protozoan parasite _Trichomonas vaginalis_.

“Make an appointment”:/about/appointments/ at any of our clinics in Greater Victoria to get tested for trichomoniasis, or to find out more.

* “How trichomoniasis spreads”:#spread
* “Trichomoniasis prevention”:#prevent
* “Trichomoniasis symptoms”:#symptoms
* “Risks of untreated trichomoniasis”:#risks
* “Trichomoniasis tests and diagnosis”:#tests
* “Trichomoniasis treatment”:#treatment

For further reading, see our “links and other resources”:/resources/external/.

h3(#spread). How trichomoniasis spreads

* Trichomoniasis is transmitted through unprotected sexual contact with an infected partner
* After getting trich once, you do not become “immune” to it– you can be re-infected anytime

h3(#prevent). Trichomoniasis prevention

To prevent trichomoniasis, use good “sex safety”:/sex-safety/ skills including regular “infection screening”:/infections/.

* Use “condoms”:/sex-safety/using-condoms to reduce the risk of trichomoniasis during vaginal and anal sex.
* Use condoms and “dental dams”:/sex-safety/dental-dams to prevent transmission during oral sex.
* Any genital symptom such as discharge, burning during urination or an unusual sore should be a signal to stop having sex and consult a health care provider.
* “Make an appointment”:/about/appointments/ to get tested for trichomoniasis.

h3(#symptoms). Trichomoniasis symptoms

*Many people have no symptoms* with a trichomoniasis infection, especially men.

* Some men may have an irritation inside the penis, mild discharge or slight burning with urination or ejaculation. These symptoms may disappear within a few weeks without treatment, however the man is still infected and can continue to infect others.
* Women may have abnormal vaginal discharge with a foul odour, genital itching and irritation, and discomfort during intercourse and urination.

h3(#risks). Risks of untreated trichomoniasis

* Rarely trich can cause “pelvic inflammatory disease”:/infections/pid/.
* Genital inflammation caused by trich can increase a person’s risk for other STIs including “HIV”:/infections/hiv-aids/.
* An infected mother’s baby may be born early or with low birth weight.

h3(#tests). Trichomoniasis tests and diagnosis

Trichomoniasis is diagnosed by taking a swab and sending it to a lab for testing.

* For women, a swab is taken from inside the vagina (where there may be small sores).
* For men, a swab can be taken of discharge or from inside the tip of the penis.

h3(#treatment). Trichomoniasis treatment

* Trich is easily treated and cured with a dose of antibiotic.
* All recent sex partners (previous 60 days ) need to be treated.
* You need to abstain from having sex until 1 week after you and your partner have taken the antibiotic– if not, you can easily become re-infected.