What Is Trichomoniasis?

Trichomoniasis is sexually-transmitted disease caused by parasite named Trichomons vaginalis. The parasite affects women more than men, and the majority of people who are infected with trichomoniasis don’t know it because they don’t have any symptoms. Trichomoniasis is easily detected and easily cured.

How Do You Get Trichomoniasis?

You get trichomoniasis by having sex with someone who has the parasite. The parasite usually passes from a penis to a vagina, from a vagina to a penis or from a vagina to another vagina. It doesn’t appear to be passed through oral or anal sex. Women are more likely to get it than men, and women over 40 are even more likely to get it than younger women.

How Do I Know I Have Trichomoniasis?

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that almost four million people are currently infected with this disease and don’t know it. Most of the people who get the parasite never experience any symptoms. If you do experience symptoms from trichomoniasis, it will probably make having sex painful and uncomfortable. The symptoms will come and go on their own.

Men who experience symptoms might have discharge, painful, burning urination or ejaculation and itching or irritation inside the penis.

Women who experience symptoms might have increased vaginal discharge, burning urination and itching, burning and sore genitals.

Can You Treat or Cure Trichomoniasis?

Yes! Trichomoniasis is easily cured with antibiotics such as metronidazole (Flagl) for men and tinidazole for women. However, because there are so many people who have disease and don’t now it, about 20 percent of people who get treatment for trichomoniasis get it again within three months. If you have the disease, it’s important for your sex partners to check if they have it also, or you will pass it back and forth.

Is Trichomoniasis Dangerous?

Trichomoniasis can cause pregnant women to deliver their babies early or with a low birth weight. It can also make you more susceptible to contracting HIV.

Can You Prevent Trichomoniasis?

The only way to truly prevent any sexually-transmitted disease is to abstain from having sex. Next best would be to have a mutually-monogamous relationship where you’ve both been tested for STDs. Sexually active adults can lower their risk of getting trichomoniasis by properly using condoms.

How Do You Test for Trichomoniasis?

Trichomoniasis can be detected through a simple blood test, separately or at the same time you get tested for other STDs.

Can I get an Anonymous Trichomoniasis Test?

Yes, you can. Because it’s a parasite and not a bacteria, medical professionals are not required to report your personal information to anyone if you test positive for this disease.

How Do I Find Out More About Trichomoniasis?

Read this CDC Fact Sheet on Trichomoniasis.

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