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revised Wednesday April 22 2009
healthy sexuality
Types of Sexually Transmitted Infections ( STIs)

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Trichomoniasis

This webpage is for information purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

Trichomoniasis is caused by a microscopic parasite called trichomonas vaginalis. It is spread from person to person through vaginal intercourse or by sharing infected towels or bathing suits.

Signs & Symptoms

A Trichomoniasis infection might not cause any symptoms in men or women.

Females might experience:

  • A frothy, green vaginal discharge.
  • An unpleasant odour from the vaginal area.
  • Intense vaginal itching.
  • Redness and pain in vaginal area.
  • Frequent urination.

Males might experience:

  • A discharge from the penis.
  • Pain or burning when urinating.
  • Irritation around the tip of the penis.
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Diagnosis & Treatment

Diagnosing Trichomoniasis

Females

Your doctor will perform a pelvic exam to look for swelling and abnormal discharge and take a swab sample from your vagina. The sample will be sent to a lab, where a test will show if trichomonas vaginalis is causing the problem. Occasionally trichomoniasis will appear on a routine Pap test.

Males

Your doctor will take a swab sample from your penis. The sample will be sent to a lab, where a test will show if trichomoniasis is causing the problem. If your partner is diagnosed with trichomoniasis you’ll be treated regardless of your test results.

Treatment

Flagyl® (metronidazole) is the most effective treatment for trichomoniasis. Your doctor will prescribe pills.

You might feel sick to your stomach or have diarrhea while taking Flagyl®. Other side effects include a persistent, dry metallic taste in the mouth and less vaginal lubrication.

Combining alcohol and Flagyl® will cause you to vomit. Don’t drink wine, liquor, beer or any other alcohol while taking Flagyl® and for 48 hours after finishing treatment.

Don’t have intercourse while you’re being treated. All of your sexual partners must also be treated so you don’t get re-infected.

If you finish your Flagyl® medication and still have symptoms, return to your doctor for more testing and treatment.

Left untreated, trichomoniasis can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) which can cause infertility.

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Prevention

You can prevent getting or spreading a trichomoniasis infection by:

  • Not having sex.
  • Being tested together with all new partners prior to sexual activity.
  • Always using latex condoms.
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[ Common STIs Home ]


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