Trichomoniasis

Overview

Definition

Trichomoniasis is a sexually transmitted infection (STI).

Causes

It is caused by a parasite. It passes between people during sex.

Risk Factors

It is more common in women than men. The risk may be higher for those who:

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

SymptomsandDiagnosis

Symptoms

The infection does not always cause symptoms. When they happen, they may be:

In women:

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

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

Diagnosis

The doctor will ask about your symptoms, and sexual and health history. A physical exam will be done. It will focus on the pelvic area.

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

The infection is treated with antibiotics. Sex partners may also need treatment.

Prevention

The risk of STIs is reduced by:

  • Always using condoms during sex
  • Only having 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

Mercer F, Johnson PJ. Trichomonas vaginalis: pathogenesis, symbiont interactions, and host cell immune responses. Trends Parasitol. 2018;34(8):683-693.

Sexually transmitted diseases. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases website. Available at: https://www.niaid.nih.gov/diseases-conditions/sexually-transmitted-diseases. Accessed February 3, 2021.

Trichomoniasis. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/std/trichomonas/STDFact-Trichomoniasis.htm. Accessed February 3, 2021.

Trichomoniasis. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/trichomoniasis. Accessed February 3, 2021.