Trichomoniasis is an infection that you can get during sex. Infections that are spread during sex are called “sexually transmitted infections,” or “STIs.”

Some people with trichomoniasis have no symptoms. This is true for most males and some females.

In females, the symptoms of the infection include one or more of the following:

  • Vaginal discharge that smells bad and might be foamy and greenish-yellow (“vaginal discharge” is the medical term to describe the small amount of fluid that comes out of the vagina)
  • Itching or burning of the vagina or the area around the vagina
  • Burning or pain during urination
  • Pain during sex

In males, the symptoms of the infection include:

  • Discharge from the penis
  • Burning or pain during urination

Yes, you should see your doctor or nurse if you have any of the symptoms listed above. You should also see a doctor or nurse if any of your sex partners have had trichomoniasis within the past few months. Even if you have no symptoms, you could be infected.

Yes. In females, the test involves doing a vaginal exam and taking a sample of vaginal discharge. In males, the doctor might test a sample of urine or discharge from the penis.

Your doctor might want to test you for other sexually transmitted infections, too.

Trichomoniasis is treated with medicine that comes in pills. There are a few prescription medicines that can treat trichomoniasis:

If you learn that you have trichomoniasis, you should contact all the people you have had sex with recently to let them know. That’s because they might have trichomoniasis, too. If they have trichomoniasis, they will need treatment even if they have no symptoms. If you are infected, anyone you have sex with should be treated at the same time. Otherwise, your partners could infect you again after you are treated.

While you are getting treated for trichomoniasis, you should not have sex with anyone. Wait until you have taken all your medicine and have no more symptoms. If you are a female, your doctor will test you again after you’re with treatment to make sure that you haven’t been infected again. The repeat test is done between 2 weeks and 3 months after finishing treatment.

If you don’t get treatment for your trichomoniasis, your symptoms can get worse. Plus, you can keep spreading the infection to your sex partners. You might also have a higher chance of getting the virus that causes AIDS.

In pregnant people, trichomoniasis can cause the baby to be born early.

You can lower your chances of getting trichomoniasis if you:

  • Use a condom every time you have sex.
  • Avoid sex when you or your partner has any symptoms that could be caused by an infection. These include itching, discharge, or pain with urination.