Trichomonas is a sexually transmitted infection (STI), also known as Trichomoniasis or ‘Trich’. It is caused by the parasite Trichomonas vaginalis. The infection is normally spread through contact with semen or vaginal fluids. In women, Trichomonas infects the vagina and the urethra (the tube which transports urine outside the body). In men, the urethra, head of the penis, and prostate gland are infected. Despite Trichomonas being a common STI it is not regularly tested for in all countries.

How common is Trichomonas?

Trichomonas is the single most common STI not caused by a virus worldwide. Globally, there are around 280 million new infections per year.

How can I catch Trichomonas?

You can catch it by having unprotected sexual contact with an infected person. There is very little proof that Trichomonas can be spread through oral or anal sex. Sharing sex toys that are not sterile can also spread the infection.

Can I catch Trichomonas without being sexually active?

Trichomonas is mostly spread through unprotected sex or by sharing sex toys that have not been properly cleaned. Trichomoniasis cannot be caught from toilet seats, kissing, or hugging, nor by sharing cups, plates, or cutlery.

What are the signs and symptoms of Trichomonas in women?

Most infected people show no symptoms of infection. If symptoms occur, they are seen within a month after the initial infection. Trichomonas symptoms in women include:

  • Pain when urinating

  • Frothy yellow or green vaginal discharge with a “fishy” smell

  • Vaginitis (swelling, itchiness, and soreness in and around the vagina)

  • Unusual pain during sex

What are the signs and symptoms of Trichomonas in men?

Most men have no symptoms and those that do, experience them within a month of infection. Trichomonas symptoms in men include:

  • Pain when urinating

  • Pain when ejaculating

  • Increased urge to urinate

  • Unusual thin white discharge from the penis

Soreness, swelling, and redness of the head of the penis or foreskin

When should I get tested for Trichomonas?

You may wish to test for Trichomonas if you and/ or your sexual partner(s) have any symptoms. Testing may give you peace of mind if you have had unprotected sex. You should wait 14 days after a suspected infection before taking this test. If you have recently had another STI you may wish to take this test as part of taking control of your sexual health.

How do I get tested for Trichomonas?

At Better2Know, our Trichomonas test uses a urine sample. Women can also have the test done using a swab of the vagina. You should receive your test results within 2–7 working days of your sample reaching our laboratory.

Take responsibility for your sexual health with Better2Know. Testing with Better2Know is easy, fast, and pain-free. You can book a test today with Better2Know by calling our Sexual Health Advisory team on the number above or online by clicking the Get Started button.

What are the risks if Trichomonas is left untreated?

Your risk of catching other STIs is higher if you do not receive treatment for a Trichomonas infection. Rarely in men, an untreated infection can lead to prostatitis, an infection of the prostate gland. Having an untreated infection during pregnancy can cause complications in pregnancy.

How can Trichomonas affect a pregnant person and their baby?

Untreated Trichomonas in pregnancy can increase the risk of the baby being born early and/or with low birth weight. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Better2Know or your midwife.

What do I do if I test positive for Trichomonas?

Trichomonas is curable with a short course of antibiotics. You may wish to have another test at the end of your treatment to check that the treatment was successful.

If your test is positive you should tell any sexual partners whom you have had unprotected sex with. This is so they can get tested and receive Trichomonas treatment, preventing its spread and reinfection. Better2Know offers all our patients access to an anonymous Partner Notification tool that will enable you to inform all past sexual partners of your positive diagnosis. This will help you to do the right thing by them, and enable them to get the testing and treatment they need.

If you receive a positive test result, Better2Know will arrange a private doctor’s appointment for you and will prescribe you the right antibiotic to treat your infection. Just ring us on the number at the top of the page and speak to one of our helpful advisors. You can also discuss your test results with any doctor of your choice.

How is Trichomonas treated?

Medication for Trichomonas is needed as it will not just go away on its own. A short course of antibiotics is required to clear up the infection. You may wish to consider having another test at the end of your treatment to check that the infection has been completely cleared.

Can Trichomonas come back?

You can be reinfected if you have sexual contact with someone who has the infection. Your sexual partner(s) should get tested if you test positive to prevent re-infection. You can minimise your risk of becoming re-infected by practising safe sex. Having had a Trichomonas infection once does not give you immunity against this infection in the future. You should get tested for Trichomonas any time you think you might have been exposed to this infection.

When can I have sex again after testing positive for Trichomonas?

You should not have unprotected sex with your partner until you have finished your treatment and any symptoms have disappeared. Your sexual partner(s) should also be tested and treated if needed to avoid re-infection.

How do I book a Trichomonas test?

Better2Know is the world’s leading provider of private sexual health testing services. We provide you with fast and accurate testing to give you peace of mind.

You can book a test today with Better2Know by calling our Sexual Health Advisory team on the number above. Our expert Patient Services staff will help you select the right test and book any follow-up appointments if requested. If you prefer to book your test online, you can do so by clicking the Get Started button above.

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