Trichomoniasis symptoms, prevention and treatment

Trichomoniasis or “Trich” is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) caused by the protozoan parasite Trichomonas vaginalis.

Make an appointment at any of our clinics in Greater Victoria to get tested for trichomoniasis, or to find out more.

For further reading, see BCCDC’s page on Trichomoniasis.

How trichomoniasis spreads

  • Trichomoniasis is transmitted through unprotected sexual contact with an infected partner. It is most commonly found in the vagina and urethra in males.
  • After getting trich once, you do not become “immune” to it—you can be re-infected anytime

Trichomoniasis prevention

To prevent trichomoniasis, use good sex safety skills including regular infection screening.

  • Use condoms to reduce the risk of trichomoniasis during vaginal and anal sex.
  • Use condoms and oral 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 to get tested for trichomoniasis.

Trichomoniasis symptoms

Many people have no symptoms with a trichomoniasis infection.

  • Some people 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 person is still infected and can continue to infect others.
  • Some people may have abnormal vaginal discharge with a foul odour, genital itching and irritation, and discomfort during intercourse and urination.

Risks of untreated trichomoniasis

  • Trich can increase the chance of pelvic infection
  • Genital inflammation caused by trich can increase a person’s risk for other STIs including HIV.
  • An infected fetus may be born early or with low birth weight.

Trichomoniasis tests and diagnosis

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

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 vaginal, anal and oral sex until 1 week after you and your partner(s) have taken the antibiotic—if not, you can easily become re-infected.