Trichomoniasis
(caused by Trichomonas vaginalis, a protozoan parasite)

Trichomoniasis is the most common curable STD in young, sexually active women. With an estimated 5 million new cases in the U.S. each year in women and men, trichomoniasis is more common than chlamydia and gonorrhea.

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STD Facts: Trichomoniasis

On This Page:
Signs and Symptoms
Transmission
Complications
Prevention
Testing and Treatment
For More Information

Signs and Symptoms

For women:  

  • Some women have no symptoms
  • Usually begin 5-28 days after exposure
  • Itching, burning or pain in vagina
  • Frothy, yellow-green discharge with foul odor  

For men:  

  • Most men have no symptoms
  • Mild discharge from penis
  • Pain after urination or ejaculation

Transmission

Trichomoniasis can be spread:  

  • Between men and women through penis-to-vagina intercourse
  • Between women through vulva-to-vulva intercourse

Complications

If trichomoniasis is left untreated:  

  • Infections can be spread to sex partners
  • Uncomfortable symptoms will continue
  • In pregnant women, can cause premature delivery and low birth weight
  • It can make it easier to transmit or acquire HIV during sex

Prevention

  • Avoiding vaginal, oral or anal sex is the best way to prevent STDs.
  • Latex condoms, when used consistently and correctly, can reduce the risk of transmission of trichomoniasis.
  • Always use latex condoms during vaginal sex.
  • Use a latex barrier (dental dam or condom cut in half) for oral sex on a vagina or anus.
  • Limit the number of sex partners.
  • Notify sex partners immediately if infected.
  • Infected sex partners should be treated to prevent re-infection.

Treatment

  • Get a test from a medical provider if infection is suspected.
  • Trichomoniasis can be cured using medication prescribed by medical provider.
  • Partners should be treated at same time.  

NOTE: A person can be re-infected after treatment.

For more information, contact:

STD and HIV Section
Minnesota Department of Health
(651) 201-5414

Minnesota Family Planning and STD Hotline Attention: Non-MDH link
1-800-783-2287 Voice/TTY; (651) 645-9360 (Metro)

American Social Health Association (ASHA)
Attention: Non-MDH link

CDC National STD and AIDS Hotlines
Attention: Non-MDH link

1-800-CDC-INFO; 1-888-232-6348 TTY
1-800-344-7432 (Spanish)

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Updated Tuesday, 26-Mar-2013 11:52:38 CDT