Trichomoniasis is a sexually transmitted infection (STI). It’s caused by germs passed between partners during vaginal or anal sex or when sharing sex toys. It can’t be transmitted during oral sex or any other way. It affects both men and women.
Most people with trichamoniasis won’t experience any symptoms. It's easy to pass on the infection without even knowing you have it so it’s a good idea to get tested once a year, or when you change partners.
Symptoms could include pain and discharge from the vagina or penis. It may hurt to pee. For women, the vulva and vagina may be itchy and uncomfortable and sex may be painful.
If you develop a temperature, lower tummy pain, or (if male) painful or swollen testicles, please seek urgent medical attention.
Trichomoniasis is caused by germs that lead to infection in the vagina and the tube you pee out of (urethra) in women. In men, the infection affects the urethra, the head of the penis and in some cases the prostate gland. It’s passed between partners during sex or when sharing sex toys.
As with most STIs, the best way to avoid catching it (or getting infected again) is to use a condom when you have sex. If you’re sharing sex toys, make sure to clean them or cover them with a new condom between uses. Making sure both you and any partners are treated for trichomoniasis will stop you passing the infection back and forth.
Most people with trichomoniasis won't experience symptoms. But it’s still important to get treated to get rid of the infection and so that you don’t pass it on to anyone else. Untreated, trichomoniasis can leave you vulnerable to more serious STIs and health problems.
You shouldn’t have any sexual contact for at least one week after you and any partners have completed treatment, even if you’re using a condom. If you do have sex within this time, you should both take another trichomoniasis test.
If you’ve got trichomoniasis, we recommend getting tested for other STIs, such as HIV and syphilis, as it’s common to have more than one at the same time. You can get at-home STI test kits through Boots Online Doctor Service. You should also get in touch with any sexual partners you’ve had over the last six months so that they can also get treated.
Page last reviewed by: Dr. Christina Hennessey 21/06/2021