What is it?

Trichomonas is a protozoan which is a small organism similar to bacteria.  This protozoan can infect the vagina and urethra in a woman.  In men it can affect the urethra and occasionally the prostate gland.

Did you know? …

Trichomonas is the second most common STI (after Chlamydia) and is responsible for over 30% of positive STI test results. Click here to see the full article.

How can I get it?

You can get the infection by having sexual intercourse (vaginal or anal) with an infected person. As no symptoms may occur, if you become infected you could pass on the infection without knowing it.

What are the symptoms?

Like many other STIs, roughly half the people infected have no symptoms. In those people that do get symptoms, the following may occur:


  • Vaginal discharge. This is typically greeny-yellow, and may be 'frothy'. The discharge usually has an unpleasant or fishy smell.
  • Your vagina and vulva may be itchy and uncomfortable. The irritation may extend into the groin. Sex may be painful.
  • It may be sore when you pass urine.


  • Discharge from the penis.
  • It may be sore when you pass urine.
  • You may urinate more frequently (due to irritation inside the penis).

Trichomonas testing

Testing with Better2know is easy, fast and painless. Trichomonas is one of the tests in our Comfort and Platinum STI screens or can be tested for on its own.  A sample of your urine is needed; please hold your urine before your appointment so that you can provide an adequate sample. Results are available five days after your sample is received in the laboratory.


A Trichomonas infection is treated with antibiotics. You should not have unprotected sex until the treatment has finished and the symptoms have gone away. You should also have your sexual partners treated to avoid re-infecting each other.  Your Better2Know Doctor will be able to prescribe the right antibiotics for you.

Adverse consequences

In women, an untreated infection during pregnancy can lead to an increased risk of having an early labour, and/or a baby with a low birth weight.

In men, an infection can, rarely, cause Prostatitis (an unpleasant infection of the prostate gland).

For both men and women, an untreated infection can lead to an increased risk of contracting an HIV infection if you have sex with someone who is HIV positive.