Vaginal Infection: Trichomoniasis

Trichomoniasis is often called “trich.” It's caused by a parasite that is passed during sex. Men with trich often don’t have any symptoms. So they don’t know that they are infected. In women, it can take weeks or months before symptoms develop.

Gender words are used here to talk about anatomy and health risk. Please use this information in a way that works best for you and your provider as you talk about your care.

Symptoms of trichomoniasis

  • Foamy gray or yellow-green discharge

  • Foul odor

  • Intense vaginal itching, burning, redness, and swelling at opening of vagina

  • Pain during sex or urination

  • Bleeding after sex

Treating trichomoniasis

Man and woman sitting outdoors, talking.
Whether or not he has symptoms, your partner will also need to be treated for trichomoniasis.

Trich is treated with antibiotics. Be sure that you:

  • Finish all your medicine. This is true even if your symptoms go away.

  • Don't have alcohol until you’re done with all your medicine.

  • Tell your partners so that they can seek treatment and be tested for other sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

  • Don't have sex until you and your partner are both done with treatment.

Why treatment matters

Untreated trich can lead to problems. These include:

  • Increased risk for preterm delivery if you are pregnant

  • An abnormal Pap test result

  • Possible increased risk of pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)

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