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Sexual and Reproductive Health

Trichomoniasis (Trich)


Trich is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) caused by a parasite called Trichomonas vaginalis.

How do I get trich?

Trich is passed between people through unprotected sex (sexual contact without a condom).

How can I prevent trich?

When you’re sexually active, the best way to prevent trich and other STIs is to use condoms for oral, vaginal, and anal sex.

Don’t have any sexual contact if you or your partner(s) have symptoms of an STI, or may have been exposed to an STI. See a doctor or go to an STI Clinic for testing.

Get STI testing every 3 to 6 months and when you have symptoms.

How do I know if I have trich?

The infection is most common in females in the vagina and in males in the tube that carries urine and semen (urethra).

Many women with trich have no symptoms, but trich can cause:

  • vaginal discharge that smells musty
  • itching in and around the vagina
  • pain or burning when you pee
  • pain during intercourse

Most males with trich have no symptoms, but they can still spread it.

The best way to find out if you have trich is to get tested. Your nurse or doctor can test you by taking a swab.

Is trich harmful?

If not treated, trich may cause:

  • infertility or low sperm count in males
  • increased risk of pelvic infections in females
  • increased risk of getting other STIs and HIV

What if I’m pregnant?

If not treated, trich may cause premature rupture of the membranes, early delivery, and low birth weight. Get tested and treated before delivery to prevent these problems.

How is trich treated?

Trich is treated with antibiotics. It’s important to follow the directions you get with your medicine (e.g., don’t drink alcohol while you take the medicine).

Wear cotton underwear and loose clothing to keep the genital area dry and help your body heal faster. You can also use cold packs or soak in a tub to help the itching.

Your partner(s) also needs to be tested and treated even if there are no symptoms. You can get re-infected if you have unprotected sex with someone before he or she is treated.

When can I have sex again?

It will take 1 week for the antibiotic to get rid of the infection. Don’t have unprotected sex (oral, vaginal, or anal sex without a condom) for 7 days after you and your partner(s) are treated. The best protection is not to have sex (oral, vaginal, or anal) for at least 7 days..

If you still have symptoms, don’t have any sexual contact.

What if I still have symptoms following treatment?

Please contact your healthcare provider.

For More Information

  • Health Link – Health Advice 24/7: 811

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