WHAT IS TRICHOMONIASIS?
Trichomoniasis is a genital infection caused by the organism Trichomonas vaginalis. In Australia Trichomoniasis is more common in older women and women living in remote areas. It is less commonly diagnosed in men.
WHAT ARE THE SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS?
Up to 50% of women have no symptoms. When present, symptoms include a frothy yellow-green vaginal discharge, an unpleasant vaginal odour, vulvo-vaginal itching and burning. Men are usually asymptomatic, but if they have symptoms they include a discharge from the penis and pain on passing urine.
HOW IS IT TRANSMITTED?
Trichomonas is transmitted by having unprotected sexual intercourse with an infected person.
WHAT OTHER PROBLEMS CAN IT CAUSE?
Trichomoniasis during pregnancy may lead to low birth weight babies and prematurity.
HOW IS IT DIAGNOSED?
To diagnose Trichomoniasis in women, a practitioner must perform a vaginal examination and take a swab from the vagina. The sample is then examined under the microscope in the laboratory.
In men, if a penile discharge is present a swab is taken and examined under the microscope. If a discharge is not present a urine sample is collected.
HOW IS IT TREATED?
Trichomoniasis is treated with the antibiotics, Metronidazole 2gm or Tinidazole 2gm. These medications may cause nausea, and taking them with food reduces these side effects.
Alcohol should be avoided for 48 hours after taking these medications.
It is important that all sexual partners are treated, even if they have no symptoms.
HOW CAN TRICHOMONIASIS BE PREVENTED?
Practicing safe sex by always using condoms is the best way of preventing infection with Trichomoniasis
This fact sheet is designed to provide you with information on Trichomonas. It is not intended to replace the need for a consultation with your doctor. All clients are strongly advised to check with their doctor about any specific questions or concerns they may have. Every effort has been taken to ensure that the information in this pamphlet is correct at the time of printing.
Last Updated November 2017