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Sexual Conditions Health Center

Trichomoniasis - Exams and Tests

Trichomoniasis (trich) is diagnosed by using:

  • Your medical history, which will include questions about your sexual history and practices.
  • A physical exam.
    • For women, this will include a visual exam of the genitals, vagina, or cervix to detect patchy red spots that are caused by trich. Any vaginal discharge will be assessed for color, odor, and texture. A sample of discharge is taken for a wet mount test.
    • For men, this will include a visual exam of the penis and a sample of discharge from the urethra or a urine sample.
  • Tests to identify the trich organism.
    • The most common test for women is a wet mount, a microscopic evaluation of fluid from the vagina.
    • Other tests available but less commonly used include:
      • Culture.
      • Antigen detection test (immunochromatographic strip test) that detects trich.
      • Amplified DNA probe test, which detects genetic material (DNA) of the trich parasite.

People can get other sexually transmitted infections (STIs), such as gonorrhea or syphilis, at the same time they get a trich infection. If one STI is diagnosed, you will likely be tested for other STIs so that all infections can be treated at the same time.

In women, the trich parasite may also be identified by a routine Pap test done as part of a regular gynecologic exam. Expert opinions vary on the accuracy of a Pap test for diagnosing trich. But if a Pap test shows trich, your doctor will probably talk to you about treatment or maybe other tests.

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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: July 09, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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