• DSHS HIV/STD Program
    Post Office Box 149347, MC 1873
    Austin, TX 78714

    Phone: 737-255-4300

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What You Should Know About Trichomoniasis

What is Trichomoniasis?

Trichomoniasis, or "Trich," is an infection caused by a germ that lives in the female sexual organs (vagina and cervix) and in the male opening of the penis (urethra). Trich can be annoying, but it is easily treatable.

How do you get Trich?

Most people get Trich by having sex with someone who has Trich. Trich can also be spread by sharing moist towels or bathing suits used by someone who has Trich.

What are the symptoms of Trich?

  • A discharge from the vagina that is thin and foamy
  • A discharge from the vagina that is yellowish-green with a foul, fishy smell
  • Itching in or near the vagina
  • Pain or stinging during sex

Most women report having some of the above symptoms within four to 20 days after having sex with the person who gave them Trich. Most men never have symptoms.

How do you test for Trich?

Your doctor or health care provider will look at a small amount of discharge from the vagina or penis under a microscope to see if they see Trich.

What is the treatment for Trich?

Your doctor or health care provider will treat you with medicine to cure the infection. Your sex partner(s) must also get treated to avoid re-infecting you. Follow your doctor or health care provider's directions carefully and take all the medicine given to you. Do not drink alcohol while taking medication for Trich. Alcohol can react with the medicine and make you sick.

What about pregnancy?

If you are pregnant or think you might be, or if you are breastfeeding, be sure to tell your doctor or health care provider. You should not take the medication for Trich if you are pregnant because the medicine can hurt the baby. It is okay to take the medication after you have been pregnant for three months.

How can I avoid Trich?

  • Don't have sex (abstain)
  • Limit the number of people you have sex with
  • Use condoms every time you have sex
  • If you think you have Trich, see a doctor or go to an STD clinic. Call 2-1-1 to find a clinic near you. To learn more about Trich and other STDs, call 1 (800) CDC-INFO (English/Español) or 1 (888) 232-6348 (TTY).

Last updated June 17, 2021