Skip to content

Sexual Conditions Health Center

Font Size
A
A
A

Understanding Trichomoniasis -- the Basics

Trichomoniasis -- an infection from a parasite spread primarily through sexual intercourse -- is contagious but curable. Currently, there are an estimated 3.7 million cases of this sexually transmitted disease in men and women in the United States. In the majority of men, it doesn't cause symptoms, which makes it notoriously difficult to diagnose. However, women usually have symptoms more frequently, which may include genital discomfort and vaginal discharge. A woman's symptoms may be more pronounced right after menstruation or during 

Left untreated, the parasite may infect tissues throughout the urinary tract and reproductive system. In women, vulnerable sites for infection include the vagina, urethra, cervix, and bladder. In men, the infection may spread to the urethra and the prostate gland, seminal vesicles, and epididymis.

Recommended Related to Sexual Conditions

Understanding Chlamydia -- Prevention

To reduce the risk of getting infected with chlamydia, use a condom each time you have sex. Limit the number of sexual partners, or consider practicing abstinence. If you think you are infected, avoid sexual contact and see a doctor. Most doctors recommend that all people who have more than one sexual partner, especially women, be tested for chlamydia regularly even in the absence of symptoms.

Read the Understanding Chlamydia -- Prevention article > >

Genital inflammation caused by trichomoniasis can increase a woman's risk of getting HIV (human immunodeficiency virus), which can lead to AIDS. If a woman is already infected with HIV, there may also be an increased risk of infecting her sex partner with HIV.

 

What Causes Trichomoniasis?

The culprit behind trichomoniasis is a protozoan parasite called Trichomonas vaginalis, which usually is transmitted sexually. Transmission is through penis to vagina, vagina to penis, or vulva to vulva (the genital area outside the vagina).

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Trina Pagano, MD on March 14, 2015

Today on WebMD

Sex Drive Killers 03
Slideshow
couple holding hands
Quiz
 
Couple in bed
Article
Condom Quiz
Quiz
 

HIV Myth Facts
Slideshow
STD Overview
Slideshow
 
Man tearing a condom packet
Quiz
things your guy wish you knew slideshow
Slideshow
 

Thoughtful man sitting on bed
Quiz
Girls Puberty 10
Quiz
 
Couple in bed
Article
Young couple holding hands
Quiz
 

WebMD Special Sections