What is it?
Trichomoniasis, often called “trich” for short, is a parasite that lives in sexual fluids, which include pre-ejaculate, ejaculate, and vaginal fluid. Trichomoniasis is very common and is easily treatable with antibiotics.
How can I get it?
Trichomoniasis is usually transmitted through vaginal sex or vulva to vulva sex. The infection is transmitted when your vagina or penis into contact with your partner’s sexual fluids. Sexual fluids include pre-ejaculate, ejaculate, and vaginal fluid. It is very uncommon for it to be transmitted through anal or oral sex.
How do I know if I have it?
Many people do not have symptoms when they have it. In people who have a cervix, trichomoniasis can infect the vagina, bladder, urethra or cervix. If symptoms do occur they can include:
- Itching, burning, redness or soreness around penis or vagina
- Discomfort or burning while peeing
- New or unusual discharge from the vagina or penis
- Pain during sex
How is it treated?
Trichomoniasis can be treated with antibiotics. It can often be cured with a single dose.
How can I help prevent it?
You can reduce your risk of getting it by using barriers such as condoms during vaginal. You can also choose to engage in sexual activity that does not pose a high risk for trichomoniasis transmission such as giving or receiving a massage, mutual masturbation, or oral sex. You can also ensure that you and your partner have been tested and do not have it before engaging in sexual activity.
How am I tested?
Testing for this usually involves peeing in a cup. Your urine will be sent to a lab for testing. If you have symptoms such as unusual discharge, your healthcare provider may also take a swab using a long q-tip or tiny brush. Tests give accurate results 4-28 days after the sex act that may have exposed you to gonorrhea.