Bookmark this page

View Printer Friendly PDF Printer Friendly PDF

Facts About...

Trichomoniasis


What is it?

Trichomoniasis, sometimes called “trich” for short, is a common sexually transmitted infection (STI) caused by a parasite. Both men and women can get it. Trichomoniasis, when pregnant, may cause early rupture of membranes. The baby may be born too early and have a low birth weight.

How is it spread?

Trichomoniasis is spread by having unprotected sex with a person who has it. A common myth is that it can be spread on toilet seats. The parasite cannot live long in the environment or on objects, so it is unlikely you would get “trich” this way.

What do I look for?

Most men and women have no symptoms. In women, itchiness or redness of the vagina and changes in colour of vaginal discharge (white, clear, yellow or green) may occur. Vaginal discharge with a smell that is not normal and a burning feeling with sex or after urinating can also happen. In men, symptoms may include unusual discharge from the penis, itchiness or an abnormal feeling inside the penis, and burning after urinating or ejaculating.

How is it treated?

Trichomoniasis is treated by a health care provider with prescription pills, usually metronidazole (Flagyl). It is important to take all the pills that are given to you. Even if you no longer have symptoms, you must finish the pills or the infection may not go away. Your sex partner(s) should be treated at the same time you are being treated. This increases the cure rate and lessens the possibility of further spread or being re-infected.

What are the effects on breastfeeding?

Breastfeeding women should be advised to consider interrupting breast feeding for 12-24 hours following treatment with metronidazole. This medication is excreted into breast milk in large amounts (up to 20%). There have been no reports of the effects on breast fed infants of mothers who took metronidazole.

How can I protect myself?

  • Abstain from sex
  • Talk with a new sex partner about having testing for STIs
  • Use condoms with lubricant to lower the chance of infections in the future
  • If you have trichomoniasis, tell every partner you have recently had sex with, that they may be infected and should be tested and treated
  • Take pills as directed until finished
  • Avoid drinking alcohol during, and for 24 hours after pills are finished. A possible serious "antabuse" reaction including flushing, fast heartbeat, nausea, thirst, chest pain, dizziness, and low blood pressure can occur
  • It is best to avoid sex for 1 week after you and your partner(s) have finished your prescription pills

February 29, 2016


For more information call
DURHAM REGION HEALTH DEPARTMENT
905-668-7711 OR 1-800-841-2729