Trichomonas

What is Trichomonas?

  • Trichomonas, also called “Trich” (pronounced Trick), is a sexually transmitted infection. It is a germ that can be spread during sex.
  • Trich can cause vaginitis, or inflammation of the vagina.

What are the symptoms of Trich in women?

  • Your vagina may feel sore, itchy, swollen.
  • There may be an unusual discharge. This looks off-white or yellowish-green when it dries on your underwear.  It can also look frothy and may have a fishy smell.
  • You may have a burning feeling when you pee.
  • You may need to pee more often.
  • You may have pain during sex.

What are the symptoms of Trich in men?

  • Often there are no symptoms.
  • You may experience a small amount of discharge, or irritation and redness of the head of the penis.
  • You may have a burning feeling when you pee.

How do I get tested?

  • Ask your health care provider for a test at least once a year.
  • Ask for a test any time, but especially if you are about to start a new sexual relationship. Ask for a test for both partners.
  • Women will have a swab (Q-tip) that takes a sample from their cervix. Men will have a urine test or a  swab from their penis.

How is it treated?

  • Trich can be treated with antibiotics.
  • Both you and your partner(s) need to be treated.
  • Do not drink alcohol while you are being treated and for seven days afterwards. This can cause serious side effects.

Will there be any complications?

  • You may have complications if you do not treat Trich.
  • You may pass Trich on to others who do not realize that they have it.
  • Trich can sometimes lead to Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID).
  • Pregnant women who do not treat Trich may give birth early. Their baby may weigh less than normal.

How can I avoid getting Trichomonas?

  • Use condoms every time you have sex.
  • Get tested to make sure you and your partner do not have any STIs.

Where can I go to get tested for Trich?

  • health care practitioner
  • walk-in clinic
  • Local teen clinic.

Where can I get more information?

  • From your health care provider, community health clinic, or public health nurse.
  • From the Facts of Life On-Line: e-mail your questions to thefactsoflife@serc.mb.ca.
  • From the Sexual Health Info Line: 945-2437 in Winnipeg or 1-800-782-2437 for the rest of Manitoba

Glossary:

Discharge – The release of any substance from anywhere on the body.

Pelvic inflammatory diseases (PID) – An infection of the uterus, the fallopian tubes or ovaries, which is caused by bacteria. It can lead to infertility if left untreated. Early treatment of PID is the most effective way to prevent infertility and other complications.

Penis – The external male sex organ, used for urination (peeing) and sexual intercourse.

Vagina – The muscular tube inside a woman’s body where the menstrual blood comes out from the uterus, where a baby comes out from the uterus during childbirth, and where a penis can go in for vaginal intercourse.