Trichomoniasis

 

What is it?

 

Trichomoniasis, commonly called trich, is caused by a parasite. It infects the vagina in women.  

 

How do you get it?

 

Trichomoniasis is transmitted by through vaginal sex. It can also be transferred by hands or sex toys to the genitals.

 

What are the symptoms?

 

Not all women notice symptoms but some women may notice

 

Sometimes it is found in a routine Pap smear

 

Trichomoniasis infection can be associated with premature births and also increases the risk of HIV infection.

 

Who is at risk?

 

Trichomoniasis is not common in Australia and mostly affects women. Women who have sex with partners from high prevalence countries are at higher risk. Rates of trichomoniasis are increasing in some Aboriginal communities.

 

How is it prevented?

 

Using condoms for vaginal sex significantly reduces the risk of trichomoniasis and other STIs. Avoid sharing sex toys and consider using condoms with sex toys for further protection.

 

Have regular sexual health checks to identify infections early to prevent passing the infection on to others and before complications develop.

 

How is it diagnosed?

 

A doctor or nurse will need to examine you and take a swab of the infected area. The swab is examined under a microscope to see if the trichomoniasis parasite is present. There is also a special laboratory test available on urine (pee) or a swab.

 

How is it treated?

 

Trichomoniasis can be effectively treated with antimicrobial tablets. Your sexual partner(s) will need treatment at the same time, whether they have symptoms or not, so they don't give it back to you or pass it on to someone else.

 

If you have been diagnosed with trichomoniasis it is important to tell your sex partner(s), so they can also be tested and treated and so they do not infect other people. Your doctor or sexual health clinic can help you decide who may be at risk and help you to contact them. If you wish, this can be done anonymously by your doctor.

 

Avoid sex until both you and your partner(s) have been treated.