Why should you get tested?
Consider Penile testing if you have symptoms or are:
- Sexually active with a new partner
- Sexually active with multiple partners
- HIV positive
Trichomonas infection, also called Trichomoniasis or Trich, is an extremely common and highly treatable STD caused by a small parasite associated with male and female genitals. The parasite is passed from an infected person to an uninfected person during sex. It is estimated that 3.7 million new cases of trichomonas are diagnosed each year in the U.S. Only about 30% of those infected show symptoms, so people often carry the parasite unaware that they are infected.
Because many of the people who have trichomonas don’t realize it, infections can last for months or years. This makes it difficult to identify when someone became infected or from whom. It’s also possible to develop symptoms many years after the initial exposure. The parasite is usually transmitted between a penis and vagina during intercourse, but it can also be passed from one vagina to another vagina, especially when sharing toys. It is important to properly diagnose trichomonas, because infection can lead to greater susceptibility to other STDs. When left untreated, trichomonas can lead to serious complications, like urethritis, protatitis, infertility and difficulties in pregnancy.
What are the signs and symptoms of trichomonas?
- Abnormal discharge
- Burning sensation when ejaculating
- Burning sensation while urinating
- More frequent urination
- Itching or irritation inside the penis
Although trichomonas can live and grow in men, it rarely causes symptoms. If the infection does persist, it can be associated with urethritis (infection of the urethra), prostatitis (infection of the prostate) and male infertility. Although, the complications are extremely rare and unusual in men, when present, they are significant and require treatment.
Because symptoms of trichomonas in men are rare, it is important to speak with your partner about whether she is experiencing symptoms or has just been diagnosed. Testing for trichomonas through SelfCollect can be done comfortably with a single urine collection.
Read More (Trich in Women)
Trichomonas in women is associated with several complications. The parasite usually affects the vagina, urethra or bladder. If left untreated, it can live with you for years, potentially causing greater susceptibility to other STDs, including HIV. Pregnant women with trichomonas are at increased risk for pre-term labor and the delivery of low birth weight babies.
The symptoms of trichomonas may come and go and may include:
- Itching, burning or soreness of the genitals
- Discomfort when urinating
- More frequent urination
- Pain during sex (dyspareunia)
- A discharge that can be clear, white, yellowish or greenish, with or without a foul odor
Because the symptoms of trichomonas are very similar to other causes of a vaginal infection, it is included in the SelfCollect Vaginal Discharge Panel.
What happens if your test is positive?
Testing positive for trichomonas is very common. It is treatable with antibiotics, so it’s important that you make an appointment with a healthcare provider so you can start treatment right away. You should then avoid having sex until treatment is complete.
It is also important to notify any current or past partners, so they can receive treatment as well. Repeat infection is very common with trichomonas. This causes an even greater risk for potential long-term complications. The CDC recommends retesting 3 months post-treatment; a negative result establishes the treatment was effective. To avoid getting re-infected, make certain that all of your sex partners are offered treatment, and wait to have sex again until all of your symptoms go away.