What is trichomoniasis?

Trichomoniasis (trich): Overview

Trichomoniasis is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) caused by a parasite. It's often called trich (say "trick"). You can get it by having sex with an infected partner. Trich may cause vaginal itching and a smelly discharge. But in many cases, there are no symptoms.

Trich needs to be treated so that you don't spread it to others. Both you and your sex partner or partners should be treated at the same time so you don't infect each other again.

If you're pregnant, your doctor will talk with you about treatment. Trich may cause problems with pregnancy. You could pass it to your baby during a vaginal delivery. But this is rare.


Trichomoniasis, also known as trich (say "trick"), is an infection caused by a parasite. It spreads through sexual contact (sexually transmitted infection).

Most people don't have any symptoms of trich. But it may cause symptoms such as an abnormal discharge from the vagina or penis and pain during urination or sex.

The infection is treated with antibiotics. If you're infected, it's important for your sex partner to take medicine too.

What are the symptoms of trichomoniasis (trich)?

Most people don't have any symptoms of trich. If you do have symptoms, they usually start within 1 week after you were infected. But symptoms can develop months later.

Symptoms may include:

  • Abnormal discharge from the vagina or penis.
  • Irritation or itching in the genital area.
  • Pain or burning when you urinate.
  • Pain during sex.

How is trichomoniasis (trich) treated?

Trich is treated with antibiotics such as metronidazole or tinidazole. These medicines kill the parasite that causes the infection. The medicine is usually taken by mouth as pills, tablets, or capsules.

Vaginal creams and suppositories can help ease symptoms, but they won't cure trich.

Your sex partner or partners should be treated at the same time as you are treated. This increases the cure rate and helps prevent you from spreading the disease or getting it again.

Trich during pregnancy raises the risk of prelabor rupture of membranes (PROM) and preterm delivery. Treating the infection may not always reduce this risk. But it can relieve symptoms and prevent infection in the newborn.

It's possible to get trich again. So take steps to reduce your risk for trich and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

If symptoms don't go away, you may need to take the medicine again.

How is trichomoniasis (trich) diagnosed?

To diagnose trich, your doctor will ask you questions about your symptoms and your sexual history. You may also have a physical exam. Several types of tests can be used to diagnose trich. Most use a sample of urine or a swab from the cervix or vagina.

How can you care for yourself when you have trichomoniasis (trich)?

Take your antibiotics as directed. Don't stop taking them just because you feel better. Don't have sex while you are being treated. Tell your sex partner (or partners) that they will also need to be tested and treated. Use a cold water compress or cool baths to relieve itching.

What is trichomoniasis (trich)?

Trichomoniasis is an infection caused by a parasite. It's spread by sexual contact (sexually transmitted infection, or STI). It's sometimes called trich (say "trick"). Anyone can get trich, but most people don't have symptoms. Trich can cause problems during pregnancy.

What causes trichomoniasis (trich)?

Trich is caused by a parasite. The parasite usually infects the urethra, bladder, vagina, or cervix.

Trichomoniasis: When to call

Call your doctor now or seek immediate medical care if:

  • You have unusual vaginal bleeding.
  • You have a fever.
  • You have new discharge from the vagina or penis.
  • You have pelvic pain.

Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor if:

  • You do not get better as expected.
  • You have any new symptoms or your symptoms get worse.

©2011-2024 Healthwise, Incorporated

The content above contains general health information provided by Healthwise, Incorporated, and reviewed by its medical experts. This content should not replace the advice of your healthcare provider. Not all treatments or services described are offered as services by us. For recommended treatments, please consult your healthcare provider.