What is Trichomonas?

Trichomonas is a protozoan - a small organism similar to bacteria. This type of organism is very similar to a bacterium. In women, this protozoan can infect the vagina and urethra. In men, the urethra and occasionally the prostate gland becomes infected.

Did you know? …

If you have Trichomonas, you are more likely to contract HIV than someone who does not have a Trichomonas infection. 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 symptoms do not occur in many people, 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:

Women

  • Vaginal discharge, typically greeny-yellow, may be 'frothy' and/or have an unpleasant or fishy smell
  • Itchy or uncomfortable vagina or vulva, and/or irritation in the groin area
  • Sex may be painful
  • Soreness when passing urine.

Men

  • Discharge from the penis
  • Soreness when you passing urine
  • Need to frequently urinate, due to irritation inside the penis.

How is it tested?

Testing with Better2know is easy, fast and painless. It is one of the tests in our Comfort, Full and Platinum Screens, or it is available on its own. A sample of your urine is needed, please hold your urine for two hours before your appointment. Results are available one day after your sample is received in the laboratory.

How is it treated?

It 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, or you can take your results to your own doctor.

What are the adverse consequences?

In women, an untreated infection during pregnancy, can lead to an increased risk of having an early labour and 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 developing HIV infection if you have sex with someone who is HIV positive.