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What is Trichomoniasis (Trich)?

Trichomoniasis — called “trich” for short — is an STD that’s cured with antibiotics. It’s super common, and most people with trich don’t have any symptoms.

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Trichomoniasis (aka trich) is the most common curable STD.

Millions of people get trich every year. It’s caused by a parasite that spreads really easily during sex. The parasite is carried in sexual fluids, like semen, pre cum, and vaginal fluids.

Most people with trichomoniasis don’t have any symptoms and feel totally fine, so they might not even know they have it. When it does cause symptoms, the most common one is vaginitis. Vaginitis is when your vulva or vagina is irritated. Trich can also infect your urethra (the tube you pee out of). Signs of trich include irritation and itching, smelly discharge, and painful or frequent peeing.

Other infections can feel like trich, so the only way to know for sure what’s going on is to see a nurse or doctor. The good news is trich is easily cured with medicine.

You can help prevent trich by using condoms every time you have sex.

How do you get trichomoniasis?

Trich is caused by a really tiny parasite called a trichomona (you can’t see it with the naked eye). People get trich from having unprotected sexual contact with someone who has the infection. It’s spread when semen (cum), pre-cum, and vaginal fluids get on or inside your penis, vulva, or vagina.

Trich is often passed during vaginal sex. It’s also spread by vulva-to-vulva contact, sharing sex toys, and touching your own or your partner’s genitals if you have infected fluids on your hand. Trich can easily infect the vulva, vagina, penis, and urethra, but it usually doesn’t infect other body parts (like the mouth or anus).

Trichomoniasis isn’t spread through casual contact, so you can’t get it from sharing food or drinks, kissing, hugging, holding hands, coughing, sneezing, or sitting on toilet seats.

Many people with trich don’t have any symptoms, but they can still spread the infection to others. So using condoms and having safer sex is the best way to prevent trichomoniasis — even if you and your partner seem totally healthy.

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