According to the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention (CDC), there are about 3.7 million new cases of trichomoniasis in
the United States each year. In fact, it's one of the most common and
easiest to cure STDs among adults who are sexually active.
What are the symptoms of trichomoniasis?
About 70% of infected people do not show any signs or symptoms. When
trichomoniasis does cause symptoms, they can range from mild irritation to
severe inflammation. Some people with symptoms have them 5 to 28
days after being infected. Others do not develop symptoms until much
later. Symptoms can come and go.
Men with trichomoniasis may feel itching or irritation inside the penis,
burning after urination or ejaculation, or some discharge from the
Women with trichomoniasis may notice itching, burning, redness or
soreness of the genitals, discomfort with urination, or a thin discharge
with an unusual smell that can be clear, white, yellowish, or greenish.
How do I get trichomoniasis?
The parasite is passed from an infected person to an uninfected person
during sex. The parasite is usually transmitted from a penis to a vagina, or
from a vagina to a penis, but it can also be passed from a vagina to another
vagina. It is not common for the parasite to infect other body parts, like
the hands, mouth, or anus. It is unclear why some people with the infection
present with symptoms while others do not, but it likely depends on factors
including the person's age and overall health. Infected people who do not
express symptoms can still pass the infection to others.
How do I get tested for trichomoniasis?
For both men and women, the test for trichomoniasis involves a simple
urine test, similar to the tests for chlamydia and gonorrhea.
Is there a cure for trichomoniasis?
Trichomoniasis can be cured with a single dose of prescription antibiotic
medication (either metronidazole or tinidazole), pills which can be taken by
mouth. It is okay for pregnant women to take this medication. Some people
who drink alcohol within 24 hours after taking this kind of antibiotic can
have uncomfortable side effects.
People who have been treated for trichomoniasis can get it again. About 1
in 5 people get infected again within 3 months after treatment. To avoid
getting reinfected, make sure that all of your sex partners get treated,
too, and wait to have sex again until all of your symptoms go away (about a
week). Get checked again if your symptoms come back.
What if I don't get treated for trichomoniasis?
If you have trichomoniasis, you are at an increased risk for getting or
spreading other sexually transmitted infections. For example, trichomoniasis
can cause genital inflammation that makes it easier to get infected by the
HIV virus and to pass the HIV virus onto another partner.