What is trichomoniasis?

While trichomoniasis is a fairly common STD (sexually transmitted disease), it can occasionally be contracted indirectly, such as from an infected towel. It is caused by the parasite Trichomonas vaginalis. It is primarily an infection of the urinary and genital tracts and is commoner in women where it affects the vagina. In men the most common site of infection is the urethra. Trichomoniasis is also known as "trich".

What are the symptoms of trichomoniasis?

Trichomoniasis can occur without producing any symptoms.

When symptoms occur in women, they may include:

When symptoms occur in men, they may include:

Is trichomoniasis dangerous?

While trichomoniasis can cause a lot of discomfort, it isn't usually considered dangerous for most of the people who get it.

However this disease should still be treated immediately because it can increase a person's susceptibility to HIV. It may also be a marker for other, more serious sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).

Also, if you are pregnant, it can cause you to have a premature or underweight baby.

How is trichomoniasis diagnosed?

The diagnosis is made from a laboratory examination of a sample of the vaginal discharge or of swabs taken from the urethra.

What is the treatment for trichomoniasis?

You will be treated with antibiotics. IIt is important to finish the course. You should be aware that the antibiotics may produce side-effects such as vomiting. If this happens, contact your doctor for advice.

How can I prevent trichomoniasis?

Unless you are in a monogamous relationship with an uninfected partner, always use a condom during sex. Remember that a man can have trichomoniasis, but have no symptoms, so always practise safer sex.

Women should also ensure that their vaginal area is clean and dry. Wash the vaginal area daily using a mild soap. And try not to wear tight underpants, which may irritate the area.

I had trichomoniasis last year. Am I now immune to it?

No. If you have unprotected sex with a person who has trichomoniasis, you can contract it even if you have had it before.

Back to top of page