What is trichomoniasis? — Trichomoniasis is an infection that you can get during sex. Infections that are spread during sex are called "sexually transmitted infections," or "STIs."
Both women and men can get trichomoniasis.
What are the symptoms of trichomoniasis? — Some people with trichomoniasis have no symptoms. This is true for most men and some women.
In women, the symptoms of the infection include one or more of the following:
Vaginal discharge that smells bad and might be foamy and greenish-yellow ("vaginal discharge" is the medical term to describe the small amount of fluid that comes out of the vagina)
Itching or burning of the vagina or the area around the vagina
Burning or pain during urination
Pain during sex
In men, the symptoms of the infection include:
Discharge from the penis
Burning or pain during urination
Should I see a doctor or nurse? — Yes, you should see your doctor or nurse if you have any of the symptoms listed above. You should also see a doctor or nurse if any of your sexual partners have had trichomoniasis within the past few months. Even if you have no symptoms, you could be infected.
Is there a test for trichomoniasis? — Yes. In women, the test involves doing a vaginal exam and taking a sample of vaginal discharge. In men, the doctor might test a sample of urine or discharge from the penis.
Your doctor might want to test you for other sexually transmitted infections, too.
How is trichomoniasis treated? — Trichomoniasis is treated with medicine that comes in pills. There are 2 prescription medicines for trichomoniasis:
Metronidazole (sample brand name: Flagyl)
Tinidazole (brand name: Tindamax)
If you learn that you have trichomoniasis, you should contact all the people you have had sex with recently to let them know. That's because they might have trichomoniasis, too. If they have trichomoniasis, they will need treatment even if they have no symptoms. If you are infected, anyone you have sex with should be treated at the same time. Otherwise, your sexual partner could infect you again after you are treated.
While you are getting treated for trichomoniasis, you should not have sex with anyone. Wait until you have taken all your medicine and have no more symptoms. If you are a woman, your doctor will test you again after you're done taking the medicine to make sure that you haven't been infected again. The repeat test is done between 2 weeks and 3 months after finishing the medicine.
What happens if I don't get treated? — If you don't get treatment for your trichomoniasis, your symptoms can get worse. Plus, you can keep spreading the infection to your sexual partners. You might also have a higher chance of getting the virus that causes AIDS.
In pregnant women, trichomoniasis can cause the baby to be born early.
Can trichomoniasis be prevented? — You can lower your chances of getting trichomoniasis if you:
Use a condom every time you have sex.
Avoid sex when you or your partner has any symptoms that could be caused by an infection. These include itching, discharge, or pain with urination.
All topics are updated as new evidence becomes available and our peer review process is complete.
This topic retrieved from UpToDate on: Mar 30, 2020.
Topic 16999 Version 6.0
Release: 28.2.2 - C28.105
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