Find Dr. Cullins' Answers to Common Sexual Health Questions
Q&A with Dr. Cullins
More than half of us get a sexually transmitted infection at some point in our lives. But we can protect ourselves and each other from sexually transmitted infections like trichomoniasis. Learning more about trichomoniasis is an important first step.
Here are some of the most common questions we hear people ask about trichomoniasis. We hope you find the answers helpful, whether you think you may have trichomoniasis, have been diagnosed with it, or are just curious about it.
You may have heard of trichomoniasis, or "trich," but many people are not sure what it is. Trichomoniasis (trick-oh-mo-NEYE-ah-sis) is an infection caused by a protozoan — a microscopic, one-cell animal called a trichomona. Trichomoniasis is often called "trich." More than eight million Americans are infected with trich every year.
Trich is one of the most common causes of vaginitis.
Often, trichomoniasis has no symptoms. Most people are not aware that they have the infection — especially men.
When women have symptoms, they may have
Men rarely have symptoms. When they do have symptoms, they may have
If symptoms develop, it may take about 3–28 days.
A health care provider can do tests to see if you have trichomoniasis, whether or not you have symptoms.
The provider will then examine the discharge using a microscope to make a diagnosis.
Help Your Health Care Provider
There are ways women can help their health care providers diagnose trich.
Yes, there is treatment for trichomoniasis. Both you and your partner can be successfully treated with prescription medicine.
Keep in mind that you may become infected again if your partner isn't treated. If you have more than one sexual partner, each partner (and their partners) should be treated, too.
Use condoms and avoid coming into contact with certain fluids — semen, vaginal lubrication or discharge, and menstrual flow — during treatment.
Staff at your local Planned Parenthood health center, many other clinics, health departments, and private health care providers can diagnose trichomoniasis and help you get any treatment you may need.
Trich is easily passed between sex partners. It is spread through vaginal intercourse, sharing sex toys, and mutual masturbation if fluids from one partner are passed to the genitals of the other.
There are several ways to help prevent getting trich or spreading it to other people.
If you already have trich
Q&A with Dr. Cullins