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Trichomoniasis

Trichomoniasis also known as “trich” is caused by the parasite Trichomonas Vaginalis and is spread through sexual contact without a condom.

Symptoms: There may be no noticeable signs or symptoms with trichomoniasis. Women may experience foul smelling yellow/green vaginal discharge, vaginal itching, and pain during urination and/or sex. Men may experience painful urination, itching and redness at the top of the penis as well as a slight discharge.

Testing:  Trichomoniasis is tested in women using a vaginal swab, but it can be difficult to diagnose in men.  It is important to discuss your symptoms with your healthcare provider. Men are treated for trichomoniasis if a sexual partner has been diagnosed with the infection. Some men who have been treated for chlamydia and gonorrhea will still have symptoms such as painful urination and itchy penis.  In these cases, they may also need treatment for trichomoniasis.

Treatment: Trichomoniasis is treated with an antibiotic.

Prevention: To reduce your risk of getting STIs, including HIV, follow these practices:

  • Use a condom and/or oral dam properly and consistently each time you are sexually active. 
  • See your healthcare provider or go to a sexual health clinic to be tested for STIs if you are sexually active or starting a sexual relationship with a new partner. 
  • You and your partner should be tested for STIs before becoming sexually active and then again in three to six months.

You can’t tell if someone has an STI by looking at them; the only way to know is to be tested.

For more information about trichomoniasis and other STIs, see the Canadian  Federation for Sexual Health website:


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Updated Mar 15, 2017