What is Trichomoniasis?

what is trichomoniasis

You’ve heard of the common STDs like chlamydia, herpes, gonorrhea, and HPV. Even if you don’t know much about them, you at least know the basics. But what about Trichomoniasis? If you’re asking yourself “trichomonia-what?!” you’re not alone! Although Trichomoniasis is a very common STI, it isn’t talked about nearly as often as the others.

At besafemeds, we pride ourselves on giving you the resources and information necessary to protect yourself from STDs. So, we thought we’d take a quick look at trichomoniasis to ensure you know the signs, symptoms, and how to prevent it.

First, let’s talk about what it is. Trichomoniasis (trich) is an STD that is caused by infection from a parasite called Trichomonas vaginalis. An estimated 3.7 million people in the U.S. have trich, but only about 30% actually develop symptoms.

But here’s the good news. Of the most common STIs, trichomoniasis is the most curable.

How Do You Get Trichomoniasis?

The parasite is passed through vaginal sex. Women typically get trich in the vagina, while men get it in the urethra. Men only get trich from infected women, while women can get it from infected men and women.

Is Trichomoniasis Common?

Yes. Trichomoniasis is one of the most common STDs in the United States. It is more common in men than in women. Older women are more likely to be infected than younger women.

What are the Symptoms of Trichomoniasis?

The thing about trich is that there are often no symptoms. This means it is easy to pass it to others without even knowing it. But, when symptoms do occur, these are the most common ones:

  • Unusual discharge from the vagina or penis
  • Discomfort when you urinate and have sex
  • Irritation or itching around the genitals

How Can I Prevent Trichomoniasis?

As with every STD, the only sure way to prevent trich is to abstain from sex. Condoms also reduce the risk of contracting trichomoniasis. Be sure to use a condom each time you have sex and have regular open conversations with your partner(s) about STIs.

Can Trichomoniasis Be Cured?

Yes! Trichomoniasis is easily treated with antibiotics. You must take all of your medication to ensure you are cured. It is recommended you wait 7-10 days after being treated to have sex again. If symptoms persist after treatment, contact your doctor. If left untreated, trichomoniasis can increase your risk of contracting and spreading other STDs. With trich, there is a risk of reinfection, so we recommend being tested within 3 months of initial treatment.


To learn more about the other common STIs, visit our Types of Common STIs and STDs page. If you suspect you may have an STD, fill out our online diagnostic form to speak with a licensed doctor or nurse practitioner. They will call you to discuss your symptoms and give a diagnosis.

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