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

How does trichomoniasis spread?

  • 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

How can I reduce the risk of trichomoniasis?

  • Use condoms to reduce the risk of trichomoniasis during vaginal and anal sex.
  • Use condoms or 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.

What are the symptoms of trichomoniasis?

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.

How do I get tested for Trichomoniasis?

  • Through a vaginal swab which is sent to the lab for testing

How is Trichomoniasis treated?

  • 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.

What are the risks of untreated trichomoniasis?

  • Rarely trich can cause pelvic inflammatory disease.
  • Genital inflammation caused by trich can increase a person’s risk for other STIs including HIV.
  • A pregnant person may give birth prematurely or the baby may be born at a low birth weight.