What is trichomoniasis?

Trichomoniasis is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) caused by a small organism called Trichomonas vaginalis. Although women are often affected by this disease, men also become a patient through their sexual partner.

In women, trichomoniasis can cause a foul-smelling vaginal discharge, genital itching and painful urination. Men who have trichomoniasis typically have no symptoms. Pregnant women who have trichomoniasis may be at higher risk of premature birth.

How common is trichomoniasis?

Trichomoniasis is the most common curable STD. In the United States, an estimated 3.7 million people have the infection. However, only about 30% develop any symptoms of trichomoniasis. Infection is more common in women than in men. Older women are more likely than younger women to have been infected with trichomoniasis. Please discuss with your doctor for further information.


What are the symptoms of trichomoniasis?

When symptoms do appear, they often begin five to 28 days after a person is infected. Although for some people it can take much longer.

The most common symptoms among women are:

  • Vaginal discharge, which can be white, gray, yellow, or green, and usually frothy with an unpleasant smell
  • Vaginal spotting or bleeding
  • Genital burning or itching
  • Genital redness or swelling
  • Frequent urge to urinate
  • Pain during urination or sexual intercourse

The most common symptoms in men are:

  • Discharge from the urethra
  • Burning during urination or after ejaculation
  • An urge to urinate frequently
  • Irritation inside the penis

There may be some symptoms not listed above. If you have any concerns about a symptom, please consult your doctor.

When should I see my doctor?

You should contact your doctor if you have a foul-smelling vaginal discharge or if you experience pain with urination or sexual intercourse.


What causes trichomoniasis?

  • Tricchomoniasis is caused by a one-celled protozoan organism called Trichomonas vaginalis. It travels from person to person through genital contact during sex.
  • In women, the organism causes an infection in the vagina, urethra, or both. In men, the infection only happens in the urethra. Once the infection begins, it can easily be spread through unprotected genital contact.
  • In fact, some people usually scare whether this disease can be transmitted through normal physical contact. Just set your mind at rest, this disease only spread through genital contact during sex not through normal physical contact such as hugging, kissing, sharing dishes, or sitting on a toilet seat. In addition, it can’t be spread through sexual contact that doesn’t involve the genitals.

Risk factors

What increases my risk for trichomoniasis?

There are many risk factors for trichomoniasis, such as:

  • Multiple sexual partners
  • A history of other sexually transmitted infections
  • A previous episode of trichomoniasis
  • Having sex without a condom

Diagnosis & treatment

The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. ALWAYS consult with your doctor for more information.

How is trichomoniasis diagnosed?

  • Cell cultures
  • Antigen tests (antibodies bind if the trichomonas parasite is present, which causes a color change that indicates infection)
  • Tests that look for trichomonas dna
  • Examining samples of vaginal fluid (for women) or urethral discharge (for men) under a microscope

How is trichomoniasis treated?

  • Trichomoniasis can be treated with antibiotics. Your doctor may recommend metronidazole (Flagyl) or tinidazole (Tindamax). Do not drink any alcohol for the first 24 hours after taking metronidazole or the first 72 hours after taking tinidazole. It can cause severe nausea and vomiting.
  • Be sure that your sexual partners are properly tested and take the medication, too. Not having any symptoms doesn’t mean they don’t have the infection. You will need to avoid sexual contact for a week after all partners have been treated.

Lifestyle changes & home remedies

What are some lifestyle changes or home remedies that can help me manage trichomoniasis?

The following lifestyles and home remedies might help you cope with trichomoniasis:

  • Use condoms correctly every time you have sex.
  • Limit the number of sex partners, and do not go back and forth between partners.
  • Practice sexual abstinence, or limit sexual contact to one uninfected partner.
  • If you think you are infected, avoid sexual contact and see a doctor.
  • Any genital symptoms such as discharge or burning during urination or an unusual sore or rash should be a signal to stop having sex and to consult a doctor immediately. If you are told you have trichomoniasis or any other STD and receive treatment, you should notify all of your recent sex partners so that they can see a doctor and be treated.

If you have any questions, please consult with your doctor to better understand the best solution for you.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.



Review Date: July 7, 2017 | Last Modified: July 7, 2017

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