Condition 101

What is the definition of Trichomoniasis?

Trichomoniasis is a sexually transmitted infection caused by the parasite Trichomonas vaginalis.

What are the alternative names for Trichomoniasis?

Trichomonas vaginitis; STD - trichomonas vaginitis; STI - trichomonas vaginitis; Sexually transmitted infection - trichomonas vaginitis; Cervicitis - trichomonas vaginitis

What are the causes for Trichomoniasis?

Trichomoniasis ("trich") is found worldwide. In the United States, most cases occur in women between ages 16 and 35. Trichomonas vaginalis is spread through sexual contact with an infected partner, either through penis-to-vagina intercourse or vulva-to-vulva contact. The parasite cannot survive in the mouth or rectum.

The disease can affect both men and women, but the symptoms differ. The infection usually does not cause symptoms in men and goes away on its own in a few weeks.

What are the symptoms for Trichomoniasis?

Women may have these symptoms:

  • Discomfort with intercourse
  • Itching of the inner thighs
  • Vaginal discharge (thin, greenish-yellow, frothy or foamy)
  • Vaginal or vulvar itching, or swelling of the labia
  • Vaginal odor (foul or strong smell)

Men who have symptoms may have:

  • Burning after urination or ejaculation
  • Itching of urethra
  • Slight discharge from urethra

Occasionally, some men with trichomoniasis may develop:

  • Swelling and irritation in the prostate gland (prostatitis).
  • Swelling in the epididymis (epididymitis), the tube that connects the testicle with the vas deferens. The vas deferens connects the testicles to the urethra.

What are the current treatments for Trichomoniasis?

Antibiotics are commonly used to cure the infection.

DO NOT drink alcohol while taking the medicine and for 48 hours afterward. Doing so can cause:

  • Severe nausea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Vomiting

Avoid sexual intercourse until you have finished treatment. Your sexual partners should be treated at the same time, even if they have no symptoms. If you have been diagnosed with a sexually transmitted infection (STI), you should be screened for other STIs.

What is the outlook (prognosis) for Trichomoniasis?

With proper treatment, you are likely to fully recover.

What are the possible complications for Trichomoniasis?

Long-term infection may cause changes in the tissue on the cervix. These changes may be seen on a routine Pap smear. Treatment should be started and the Pap smear repeated 3 to 6 months later.

Treating trichomoniasis helps prevent it from spreading to sexual partners. Trichomoniasis is common among people with HIV/AIDS.

This condition has been linked to premature delivery in pregnant women. More research about trichomoniasis in pregnancy is still needed.

When should I contact a medical professional for Trichomoniasis?

Call your health care provider if you have any unusual vaginal discharge or irritation.

Also call if you suspect that you have been exposed to the disease.

How do I prevent Trichomoniasis?

Practicing safer sex can help reduce the risk of sexually transmitted infections, including trichomoniasis.

Other than total abstinence, condoms remain the best and most reliable protection against sexually transmitted infections. Condoms must be used consistently and correctly to be effective.


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Trichomoniasis. Updated August 12, 2016. Accessed January 3, 2019.

McCormack WM, Augenbraun MH. Vulvovaginitis and cervicitis. In: Bennett JE, Dolin R, Blaser MJ, eds. Mandell, Douglas, and Bennett's Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases, Updated Edition. 8th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2015:chap 110.

Telford SR, Krause PJ. Babesiosis and other protozoan diseases. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 25th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 353.

Latest Research

Latest Advance
  • Condition: Neonatal Pneumonia Caused by Trichomonas Vaginalis
  • Journal: Epidemiologie, mikrobiologie, imunologie : casopis Spolecnosti pro epidemiologii a mikrobiologii Ceske lekarske spolecnosti J.E. Purkyne
  • Treatment Used: Ventilation and Antibiotic Therapy
  • Number of Patients: 1
  • Published —
This case report describes a newborn diagnosed with neonatal pneumonia caused by Trichomonas vaginalis treated with ventilation and targeted antibiotic therapy.
Latest Advance
  • Condition: Trichomonas Vaginalis
  • Journal: Journal of infection in developing countries
  • Treatment Used: Medicinal Plants
  • Number of Patients: 0
  • Published —
This study investigated Allium sativum, Nigella sativa crude extracts (NsCE) and the combination between their most effective doses with metronidazole in patients with Trichomonas vaginalis.
Latest Advance
  • Condition: Herpes simplex Virus-2
  • Journal: Journal of ethnopharmacology
  • Treatment Used: Chinese herbal prescription JZ-1
  • Number of Patients: 0
  • Published —
The study researched the safety and effectiveness of Chinese herbal prescription JZ-1 for herpes simplex Virus-2.
Latest Advance
  • Condition: Bacterial Vaginosis
  • Journal: American journal of obstetrics and gynecology
  • Treatment Used: Oral Metronidazole
  • Number of Patients: 68
  • Published —
In this study, researchers evaluated the effects of oral metronidazole on bacterial vaginosis.

Clinical Trials

Clinical Trial
Diagnostic Test
  • Status: Recruiting
  • Study Type: Diagnostic Test
  • Participants: 400
  • Start Date: February 14, 2020
Validation of the OSOM BVBLUE Test for Bacterial Vaginosis and the SavvyCheck Vaginal Yeast Test for Vaginal Candidosis: A Prospective Study
Clinical Trial
  • Status: Recruiting
  • Study Type: Drug
  • Participants: 5436
  • Start Date: December 15, 2019
Effects of Metronidazole Plus Intermittent Preventive Treatment of Malaria in Pregnancy on Birth Outcomes: a Randomised Controlled Trial in Zambia