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Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit
Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit

 
FAQ

 

What is Trichomonas?

Trichomonas, sometimes called “trich” for short, is caused by a microscopic parasite called trichomonas vaginalis. It is usually sexually transmitted but it can also survive for 24 hours on wet towels and bathing suits. This fact explains why trichomonas occasionally occurs without sexual contact.




What are the symptoms?


Women:

  • Frothy, thin, green/yellow vaginal discharge
  • unpleasant odour
  • intense vaginal itching
  • redness and pain in vaginal area
  • frequent passing of urine
  • sometimes no symptoms

Men:

  • discharge from penis
  • burning when passing urine
  • irritation around tip of penis
  • sometimes no symptoms




How is it diagnosed?


Women:

  • A vaginal swab is usually necessary. Occasionally trichomonas will show up on a routine Pap test.

Men:

  • A swab is taken from the tip of the penis. Regardless of test results, men are treated when their female partner has trichomonas.





How is it treated?

  • The most effective treatment for trichomonas is metronidazole, also called Flagyl. Your doctor may prescribe either pills or a cream. Trichomonas is almost always cured with Flagyl. If the symptoms do not go away, talk with your doctor.

  • All sexual partners must be treated at the same time to avoid reinfection.

  • Some people may feel sick to their stomach or have diarrhea while taking Flagyl. Others have noticed a dry metallic taste in their mouth and a dry vagina.

  • Do not drink: alcohol (beer, wine, liquor) while taking Flagyl and for 48 hours after finishing treatment as you will vomit.

  • Do not have intercourse during treatment.

  • Trichomonas, if not treated, can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) which can cause infertility.





Is follow-up important?

  • If you still have symptoms, return for testing and/or treatment.



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