What is Trichomonas?

Trichomonas, also known as Trichomoniasis or 'Trich', is a protozoa (a small organism similar to bacteria) which can live in vaginal or seminal fluids. In women, Trichomonas can infect the vagina and urethra. In men, it can affect the urethra and occasionally the prostate gland.

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How can I catch it?

You can get the infection by having sexual intercourse (vaginal or anal) with an infected person. Often an infection does not have any symptoms, so if you contract it you could pass it on without knowing.

What are the signs and symptoms?

Around 30% of people with Trichomonas do not have any symptoms. When symptoms do occur, they can include:

In women:

  • Vaginal discharge. This is typically greeny-yellow and may be frothy. The discharge usually has an unpleasant or fishy smell.
  • Your vagina and vulva may be itchy and uncomfortable (irritation may extend into the groin)
  • Sex may be painful
  • Pain during urine.

In men:

  • Discharge from the penis
  • Pain during urination
  • You may urinate more frequently (due to irritation inside the penis).
Did you know? …

Only around 30% of people infected with Trichomonas exhibit symptoms. Learn more here.

How can I test for Trichomonas?

Testing with Better2know is easy, fast and painless. A sample of your urine is needed; please hold your urine before your appointment so that you can provide an adequate sample. Results are available five days after your sample is received in the testing laboratory. Trichomonas is one of the STIs tested for in our Comfort Screen and Platinum Screen, or it can be tested for on its own.

If left untreated, what are the health risks?

Untreated Trichomonas can lead to an increased risk of contracting an HIV infection if you have sex with someone who is HIV positive.

In women, an untreated infection during pregnancy can lead to an increased risk of early labour and/or a baby with a low birth weight.

In men, an infection can, rarely, cause prostatitis (an unpleasant infection of the prostate gland).

What if I test positive for Trichomonas?

Trichomonas is treated with a short course of antibiotics to clear the infection. You can choose whether to access treatment through your Better2Know doctor or your own doctor. Your choice of clinician will be able to prescribe the most appropriate antibiotic for you.

You may wish to consider having a repeat test at the end of your treatment to check that the infection has cleared. You are advised not to have unprotected sex with your partner until you have completed your treatment and any symptoms have been relieved. Your sexual partner(s) should also be tested and treated to avoid re-infection.

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Better2Know is the world’s largest private provider of sexual health testing services. We will arrange a confidential appointment at a clinic near you with fast and accurate results for your peace of mind. Book online or call our Sexual Health Advisors now.

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