What is Trichomonas?

Trichomonas is a sexually transmitted infection (STI), also known as Trichomoniasis or ‘Trich’. It is caused by a parasitic protozoan, a single-celled organism, called Trichomonas vaginalis that can live in semen or vaginal fluids. In women, Trichomonas infects the vagina and urethra (tube that transports urine to the outside). In men, it infects the urethra, head of the penis and prostate gland.

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How can I catch Trichomonas?

You can contract the infection by having unprotected vaginal, anal or oral sexual contact or intercourse with an infected person. However, there is very little evidence to indicate that Trichomonas is transmitted through oral or anal sex.

Trichomonas can be spread by sharing unwashed and unsterilised sex toys. It cannot be transmitted through kissing or hugging nor through sharing cups, plates, cutlery, or toilet seats.

What are the symptoms and signs of Trichomonas in men and women?

People who are infected with Trichomonas often have no symptoms. If you do have sumptoms then they will usually develop within a month after the infection. The most common symptom of Trichomonas is pain on urination.

In women, symptoms might include having a frothy vaginal discharge with a “fishy” odour, vaginitis and pain during sexual intercourse in the vagina and vulva.

In men, Trichomonas might lead to pain during urination or ejaculation, increased urination, or abnormal thin white discharge from the penis. In some cases, men can also experience soreness, swelling and redness around the head of the penis (balanitis) or foreskin (balano-posthitis).

Did you know? …

Despite being a rare infection in the UK (around 6000 cases reported each year), Trichomonas is the single most prevalent non-viral STI worldwide (around 280 million cases reported annually). Click here to see the full article.

How can Trichomonas be tested/checked?

At Better2Know, we can test you for Trichomonas by analysing your urine sample. We can also conduct the test using a swab for women. Testing for Trichomonas is possible alongside multiple other STI tests using our Comfort Screen or Platinum Screen. Your results will be available as soon as 5 working days after we receive your sample at our testing laboratory.

What are the risks if Trichomonas is left untreated?

For both men and women, an untreated Trichomonas infection can lead to an increased risk of contracting other STIs such as HIV. In women, an untreated infection during pregnancy can lead to an increased risk of having early labour and/or a baby with low birth weight. In rare instances, an infection can lead to prostatitis in men which is an unpleasant infection of the prostate gland.

What if I test positive for Trichomonas?

Trichomonas can usually be treated with a short course of antibiotics to completely clear the infection. You may wish to consider having a repeat test at the end of your treatment to check that the infection has completely cleared.

You can choose whether to access treatment through your Better2Know doctor, or take your results to your own GP or local GUM clinic. Your choice of clinician will be able to prescribe the most appropriate antibiotic for you.

If you have tested positive using a home sample collection test, we can arrange a doctor’s consultation for you. Your doctor will receive a copy of your results, discuss your diagnosis with you and prescribe you the appropriate antibiotic. Phone us on the number at the top of the page to book your private GP appointment.

You are advised not to have unprotected sex with your partner until you have finished your treatment and any symptoms have been relieved. Your sexual partner(s) should also be tested and treated to avoid re-infection.

Book your Trichomonas test

Better2Know is the world’s leading provider of private sexual health testing services. We will arrange a clinic appointment or home testing kit quickly, and deliver fast and accurate results for your peace of mind. If you have any concerns about your sexual health, please contact us or call our friendly booking team on the number above.