Trichomoniasis

Overview

Definition

Trichomoniasis is a sexually transmitted infection (STI).

Causes

A parasite passes between people during sex.

Risk Factors

Your risk may be higher if you:

  • Have many sex partners
  • Do not use condoms during sex
  • Have had STIs before

SymptomsandDiagnosis

Symptoms

You may not always have symptoms. Symptoms appear in women more often than men. If you do have them:

Women:

  • A foul-smelling, greenish-yellow, or gray discharge from the vagina
  • Pain, itching, or burning of the genitals
  • Bleeding after sex
Infection Site in Women
Vagina
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Men:

  • Discharge from the penis
  • Itching or pain
  • Pain when passing urine
  • Pain in the testicles or scrotum
Infection Site in Men
Male Urethtra
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

Diagnosis

Your doctor will ask about your symptoms, and sexual and health history. Your doctor will check the pelvic area for signs of infection.

Testing involves:

  • Women—testing fluid or discharge from the vagina
  • Men—testing urine, semen, or discharge from the penis

A lab will check the samples for the parasite.

Treatments

Treatment

Antibiotics treat the infection. You should not have sex until you stop treatment and your symptoms are gone.

Part of care involves talking to your sexual partners. They may need healthcare even if they don’t have symptoms.

Prevention

To lower your chances of STIs:

  • Always use condoms when you have sex.
  • Only have sex with one person.

This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.

Edits to original content made by Denver Health.

RESOURCES

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention https://www.cdc.gov 

The American Congress of Obstetrics and Gynecology https://www.acog.org 

CANADIAN RESOURCES

Sex & U—The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada https://www.sexandu.ca 

The Sex Information & Education Council of Canada http://sieccan.org 

References

2015 Sexually transmitted diseases treatment guidelines. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/std/tg2015/default.htm. January 25, 2017. Accessed May 8, 2018.

Sexually transmitted diseases. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases website. Available at: https://www.niaid.nih.gov/diseases-conditions/sexually-transmitted-diseases. Accessed May 8, 2018.

Trichomoniasis. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/std/trichomonas/STDFact-Trichomoniasis.htm. Updated April 28, 2015. Accessed May 8, 2018.

Trichomoniasis. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at:  http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T116226/Trichomoniasis  . Updated April 24, 2018. Accessed May 8, 2018.