Trichomoniasis

Trichomoniasis, often called “trich,” is caused by a single-celled parasite which typically infects the vagina in women and the urethra in men. Trich does not pose serious health risks but infection with trich can make a person more susceptible to infection with HIV.

Transmission: 

Trich can be passed through intercourse (penis-to-vagina) or by contact between the genital areas of two women.

Prevention: 

You can avoid getting trich by abstaining from intercourse and vulva-to-vulva contact between two women, or by engaging in these activities only with a monogamous partner who has been tested and shown to be free of the infection.

Latex male condoms can help to reduce the risk of contracting trich during penis-to-vagina intercourse.

During sexual contact between two women, genital-to-genital contact should be avoided to reduce the chance of transmitting trich. Trich can also travel from one female partner to another on hands, sex toys, or any object that comes into contact with vaginal secretions. To prevent the spread of trich, do not allow hands, sex toys, or any object which has your partner's vaginal fluid on it to come into contact with your own genital area. Thorough and frequent washing of hands and proper sterilization of sex toys can help reduce the risk of infection.

Symptoms: 

In women, symptoms appear between 5 and 28 days after exposure and can include a frothy, yellow-green discharge from the vagina. A strong odor is often present as well. Some women also experience discomfort during sex or urination, and more rarely trich may cause abdominal pain. Some women infected with trich do not experience any symptoms.

Most men who do contract trich do not experience signs or symptoms of the infection. Some men may have an irritation of the penis and a mild discharge or burning during urination or ejaculation.

Diagnosis: 

A health care provider can diagnose trichomoniasis through a physical exam and laboratory tests.

Treatment: 

Trichomoniasis can usually be cured with a single dose of a prescription drug. People who have been treated for trich can be reinfected if their partners are not tested and treated as well.

For More Information: 

The CDC STD fact sheets are a good source of current, accurate information about STDs, as well as the American Social Health Association.

Disclaimer: 
This information is provided for educational purposes only and is not intended to substitute for medical advice. If you have any symptoms that you suspect may indicate an STD or other infection, please consult a doctor or medical professional. A good resource for STD testing, treatment and family planning services is http://www.plannedparenthood.org.
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