WHAT IS TRICHOMONIASIS?
Trichomoniasis, commonly referred to as “trich,” is caused by a parasite called Trichomonas vaginalis. It is transmitted through semen and vaginal fluids. It is commonly found in the vagina in women and the urethra in men.
Most of the time, symptoms are unnoticeable, especially in men. If symptoms do occur, they typically appear 4-28 days after getting the infection. These symptoms include:
- Vaginal itching with redness
- Unusual vaginal discharge
- Discomfort when urinating
- Men may experience a burning feeling when urinating, fluid coming from the penis, or redness at the end of the penis
If untreated, trich can increase the chance of getting a pelvic infection, or other STIs and HIV. It may also affect fertility in women and cause low sperm count in men.
TESTING AND TREATMENT
Tests are usually accurate 4-28 days after exposure. A urine sample will be collected and a vaginal swab may be done. The treatment is typically antibiotics via pills. You will need to take the pills exactly as prescribed and finish all of them, even if you start feeling better. You should tell anyone that you have had sex with in the past two months so that they can be treated. Partners are almost always given medication regardless on whether or not they have symptoms.
The University Health Center can test for STIs, and the Women’s Resource Center (WRC) offers a variety of barrier contraceptive measures for free!