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Trichomoniasis is also known as ‘trich’. It’s an STD that affects both women and men, but women are more likely to have symptoms.

In rare cases, untreated trich can cause infertility in women.

If you know you’re infected with trich, it’s easy to treat. In rare cases, if untreated in women, it can lead to infertility.

How do you get trichomoniasis?

You can get trich through unprotected vaginal sex (penis-to-vagina, vulva-to-vulva). What this means is that women can get trich from an infected man or woman. And men can only get it from an infected woman. You cannot get trich from oral or anal sex.

How can you protect yourself from getting trichomoniasis?

1. Always use condoms.

2. If you’ve got any unusual discharge, sores, or pain when you urinate get tested for trich and other STDs.
These symptoms are signs that something is wrong. Also, let your partner know, so he or she can get tested and treated too. Otherwise, you may unwittingly become re-infected with trich.

3.If you’re a woman, get screened for trich when you get a PAP smear.

What are the signs that you’ve got trichomoniasis?

Most people don’t have any signs of infection with trichomoniasis – commonly known as trich. Men more often than women don’t have any symptoms.

If you get symptoms, generally they’ll appear within one week after you’re infected.

Trichomoniasis infects the vagina, urethra (the tube where urine comes out), bladder, and cervix (the neck of the womb) in women. In men, it only infects the urethra and under the foreskin.

Trichomoniasis symptoms in women include:

  • Yellow-green or milky vaginal discharge
  • Strong vaginal odour
  • Pain when you urinate
  • Pain when you have sex
  • Itchiness or irritation of the vagina
  • Swollen labia and vulva

Sometimes these symptoms can be worse around your period. It’s unlikely that trich will go away by itself. So if you’ve got symptoms go and seek treatment. Also, let your partner know so that he or she can go and get tested and treated for it too.

What happens if you don’t get treated and you’re a woman?
If you don’t get treated, you’ve got a higher chance of getting HIV if you have unprotected sex with someone who’s HIV positive. If you’re pregnant, you’re more likely to give birth prematurely or give birth to an underweight baby.

Trichomoniasis symptoms in men include:

  • Discharge from the penis, usually first thing in the morning
  • Irritation on the head of the penis and around the urethra opening
  • Pain when you urinate

It’s unlikely that trich will go away by itself. So if you’ve got symptoms go seek treatment.

What happens if you don’t get treated and you’re a man?
You can pass trichomoniasis to your partner or re-infect her. Your infection may not go away and can cause infections in your urethra.

How do you get tested for trich?

For women, your health care provider may swab the inside of your vagina or ask for a urine sample. You can also ask for a trich test when you’re getting a routine cervical smear, or PAP test, for cervical cancer. Since it’s not commonly performed with the PAP, you’ll have to specifically ask for it.

For men, your health care provider may insert a swab into your urethra or ask for a urine sample to test for trich.

How do you get rid of trichomoniasis?

You can get rid of trich with a single dose of oral antibiotics. Usually, the antibiotics prescribed are either metronidazole or tinidazole. In some cases, you may be prescribed a longer course of antibiotics to get rid of the infection.

To avoid re-infection, it’s important that you and your partner both get tested and treated for trich. You’ll be advised to avoid having sex until both you and your partner have completed your treatment and have no symptoms of infection.

You’ll also be told not to drink alcohol during your treatment to avoid unpleasant reactions with your antibiotics.

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Recent Comments (14)

  1. hi is trichomonas hiv…
    hi is trichomonas hiv related?or do you have hiv if you have trich?

    1. Hi Sandra, Trich is a…

      Hi Sandra, Trich is a Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI). Having Trich doesn’t mean one has HIV but having an STI can increase the chances o& one getting HIV. 

  2. good evening will the health…
    good evening will the health care providers always tell you the truth about your status?what if you are positive and they tell you that u r negative

    1. Hi Simon, healthcare workers…

      Hi Simon, healthcare workers have taken an oath to do no harm and by not telling you your correct HIV status they will be doing harm. Also, you can do a self test in which case you will interpret your own results. 

  3. good day i just want to know…
    good day i just want to know what the difference between genital herpes and trichomoniasis is?

    1. Hey Jamey-lee, the key…

      Hey Jamey-lee, the key difference between Trichomoniasis or Trich and Herpes is that Herpes being a viral infection cannot be treated. Once one has Herpes they will have it for life. Trich can be treated but when left untreated it can cause infertility when in women. Check out the following article for additional information on Herpes;-

  4. Hi dear can you tel me what…
    Hi dear can you tel me what acuclovir treats

    1. Hi Tyron, Acyclovir is an…

      Hi Tyron, Acyclovir is an antiviral drug and for reason it is used to treat infections caused by certain types of viruses. If you or someone else is on this drug they need to find out from their health provider exactly why it was prescribed or what is being treated.

  5. can someone get…
    can someone get Trichomoniasis without having sex?

  6. Hi love matters I was have…
    Hi love matters I was have this sore at the entrance of my virgina any time I have unprotected sex. It usually like rash.and each time I pee I always feel burning sensation what is it?

    1. Hello Cyrah, kindly see a…

      Hello Cyrah, kindly see a medical practitioner for a proper diagnosis and advice on the way forward.

  7. I could like to know the…
    I could like to know the difference between trich and UTI

    1. Hi Sco, 

      The difference is…

      Hi Sco, 

      The difference is that Trichomoniasis is a type of STI. The term STI is used to refer to all diseases, Trichomoniasis, that fall under this category. Read this article to learn more: List Of Common STIs

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