Trichomoniasis is a common sexually transmitted infection (STI) usually caused by having unprotected sex (sex without a condom) with a person who is infected.

Trichomoniasis can affect both men and women and is caused by the protozoan, Trichomonas vaginalis. It can be found in the penis or vagina.


Many people will not have any symptoms so they may not know they have trichomoniasis, but they can still pass the infection on.

Women may have a vaginal discharge which may be yellow-green and frothy and foul smelling. They may also have irritation in vagina, discomfort during intercourse or pain when urinating.

Men can have an irritation inside the penis, a slight discharge and burning sensation when urinating.

Other problems it can cause

Trichomoniasis during pregnancy may lead to a low birth weight baby or the baby being born premature.


In women swabs are taken from the vagina. In men a swab from the end of the penis is taken if they have a discharge or they can do a urine test.


Usually, treatment is with a single dose of antibiotic tablets.

Infected people need to be tested for other STIs.

Sexual partners within the past 3 months need to be contacted so they can be tested and treated.


For more information contact Centre for Disease Control's Clinic 34.

Last updated: 12 May 2016

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