Sexual Health

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What is trichomonas (trich)?

Trichomonas is a sexually transmitted infection caused by a parasite.

How do you get trichomonas?

You can get trich if you have unprotected vaginal or anal sex.
People with more than one partner are at a greater risk.

How can you tell if you have trichomonas?

Most men and some women may not have signs of infection.

Even without symptoms, you can pass trichomonas to someone else.
Men who have symptoms might notice:

  • discharge from the penis
  • burning when they pee or cum
  • itching at the end of the penis

Women who have symptoms might notice:

  • off-white or greenish-yellow frothy discharge from the vagina
  • pain when they pee or during sex
  • itching and/or redness in the vaginal area

How do you get tested for trichomonas?

Usually only women are tested by taking a swab from the fluid in the vagina.

How is trichomonas treated?

Medication will treat and cure trichomonas.
It is important:

  • to take all the pills as prescribed
  • tell your sex partner(s) that you have trichomonas so they can be treated at the same time. Men without symptoms need to be treated but are not usually tested.
  • not to have sex until you and your sex partner(s) have completed treatment

Do you need follow-up?

You will need follow-up if you continue to have symptoms after your treatment is finished.

How do you protect yourself and others?

  • Abstain from sex or limit your number of sex partners
  • Always use condoms or a barrier for vaginal, oral and anal sex
  • Get an STI check up—especially if you’ve had a new sex partner, more than one sex partner, or suspect you have an infection
  • Ask your partner(s) to be tested before you have sex
  • Make informed decisions by talking to your partner about his/her sexual health and the use of protection, BEFORE having sex
  • Consider getting immunized for hepatitis B and HPV

Are there any special concerns about trichomonas?

Trichomonas can increase the risk of transmission of other STIs (chlamydia, gonorrhea, HIV, syphilis, hep B and HPV)

Page Last Modified: Wednesday, 12 March 2014.