Trichomoniasis is caused by the organism Trichomonas vaginalis
. It is transmitted through sexual contact with a person who has this infection.
Trichomoniasis during pregnancy may lead to low birth weight babies and premature birth.
Symptoms of trichomoniasis
Trichomoniasis is detected more often in women and rarely in men. Some women do not have any symptoms of infection. When symptoms are present they may include:
- a yellowy green, ‘frothy’ discharge
- an unpleasant odour
- vaginal or vulvar itching.
Men usually do not develop symptoms, but they may be carriers of the infection. Symptoms in men may include a discharge from the penis and burning during urination.
Diagnosis of trichomoniasis
For women, a vaginal examination and swab is required. The swab is then sent to a laboratory and examined under a microscope.
For men, a swab is taken from the penis if discharge is present. Otherwise, a urine sample can be collected.
Treatment for trichomoniasis
Antibiotics are used to treat trichomoniasis. This will involve one of either:
- metronidazole (Flagyl) – a single dose, taken with food
- tinidazole (Fasigyn) – a single dose, taken with food.
Avoid drinking alcohol during treatment and for 48 hours after taking metronidazole, or for 72 hours after taking tinidazole
Side effects of treatment for trichomoniasis
These medications may cause:
- nausea or an upset stomach
- a metallic taste in your mouth, which will disappear soon after the treatment is completed.
Preventing re-infection of trichomoniasis
If you have trichomoniasis, any sexual partners should be treated – regardless of whether or not they have symptoms. It is recommended that you either have no sex or have completely protected sex (use a condom before any physical contact occurs) until treatment is completed for both yourself and your partner.
Recurrences of trichomoniasis can occur
Occasionally, trichomoniasis may recur after the initial infection has been treated. If this occurs, consult your GP, who may prescribe a longer course of treatment.
Where to get help
This page has been produced in consultation with and approved by:
Melbourne Sexual Health Centre
Content on this website is provided for information purposes only. Information about a therapy, service, product or treatment does not in any way endorse or support such therapy, service, product or treatment and is not intended to replace advice from your doctor or other registered health professional. The information and materials contained on this website are not intended to constitute a comprehensive guide concerning all aspects of the therapy, product or treatment described on the website. All users are urged to always seek advice from a registered health care professional for diagnosis and answers to their medical questions and to ascertain whether the particular therapy, service, product or treatment described on the website is suitable in their circumstances. The State of Victoria and the Department of Health & Human Services shall not bear any liability for reliance by any user on the materials contained on this website.