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Trichomoniasis

Trichomoniasis is a sexually transmitted infection (STI).

Symptoms of trichomoniasis usually develop within a month of infection, although up to half of all infected men and women have no symptoms.

In women, this parasite mainly infects the vagina and urethra (tube that carries urine out of the body). In men, the infection most commonly affects the urethra, but the head of the penis or prostate gland (a gland near the bladder that helps produce semen) can become infected in some cases.

Symptoms

The symptoms of trichomoniasis are similar to those of many other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) so it can sometimes be difficult to diagnose.

In women

  • abnormal vaginal discharge that may be thick, thin or frothy and yellow-green in colour
  • producing more discharge than normal, which may also have an unpleasant fishy smell
  • soreness, inflammation (swelling) and itching around the vagina - sometimes the inner thighs also become itchy
  • pain or discomfort when passing urine or having sex

In men

  • pain during urination or ejaculation
  • needing to urinate more frequently than usual 
  • thin white discharge from the penis
  • soreness, swelling and redness around the head of the penis (balanitis) or foreskin (balano-posthitis)

Testing

The only way to find out if you have TV is to be tested.

If you think you have any of the above symptoms you should:

*Our walk-in and wait clinics offer limited slots and operate on a first come first served basis. When clinics are at full capacity, patients asking to be seen will be triaged and those who fit our urgent criteria will be a priority. At busy times we may need to signpost non-urgent cases to other clinics or recommend patients make an appointment for an alternative day or suggest a return visit.

 

Treatment

Trichomoniasis is unlikely to go away without treatment, but it can be effectively treated with antibiotics.

It's important that your current partner and any other recent partners are also tested and treated.

Prevention

You can prevent TV and other STIs by:

  • using male condoms or female condoms every time you have vaginal sex or male condoms during anal sex
  • using a condom to cover the penis or a latex or plastic square (dam) to cover the female genitals, if you have oral sex
  • not sharing sex toys or washing them and covering them with a new condom before anyone else uses them

More information

Visit NHS Choices - Trichomoniasis.

Download Family Planning Association’s Looking after your sexual health - trichmoniasis