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Vaginal Infection: Trichomoniasis

Woman and man talking at a table, holding hands

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.

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

Trich is treated with antibiotics. Be sure that you:

  • Finish all of 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 partner 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)

Online Medical Reviewer: Donna Freeborn PhD CNM FNP
Online Medical Reviewer: Irina Burd MD PhD
Online Medical Reviewer: Louise Cunningham RN BSN
Date Last Reviewed: 5/1/2020
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