You’re in a committed, monogamous relationship. One day, your partner says, “I have trichomoniasis.” Now your head’s spinning with questions, including “What is trichomoniasis?” and “How do you get trichomoniasis if no one cheated?”
At Rapid STD Testing, we can help you find the answers you want.
Trichomoniasis is a common and highly curable sexually transmitted infection (STI). Also called trich, the infection results from a parasite that can live in vaginal fluids, pre-ejaculate, or semen.
Trichomoniasis typically spreads from one sex partner to another during unprotected oral, anal, or vaginal sex. However, it’s usually passed from penis to vagina, vagina to vagina, or vulva to vulva.
The majority of people who have trich don’t notice any symptoms. Millions of people have the STI without knowing it. The only way to keep trichomoniasis from spreading is by practicing safe sex and using a condom.
Now you know trich is a common, curable STI, but you probably still have questions about symptoms, testing, and treatment. Plus, the big question that’s causing you so much anxiety is likely: How could my partner get trichomoniasis without having sex with someone else?
Though trich is easy for doctors to treat, you can’t get treated if you don’t realize you have it. How long can you have trichomoniasis without knowing? For some people, it can be months or even years.
More than two-thirds of people with trichomoniasis don’t show any signs. Others may not show any symptoms of trichomoniasis for 28 days or longer.
Trich is more common for women than men, though both can get infected and pass the disease to their partner.
The infection may affect the penis, urethra, cervix, vagina, and vulva, but men and women experience different symptoms.
Men’s trichomoniasis symptoms may include:
Men may also feel a frequent need to urinate as well as pain and burning during or after urination.
Women’s symptoms may include:
Women should also be aware of any changes in vaginal discharge. If you notice that your discharge is yellow, green, or gray, contains blood, or has an unpleasant odor, it may be a sign of trichomoniasis.
If you notice any of these symptoms, you need to get tested and treated. While symptoms may appear and disappear or vary in intensity, trichomoniasis can live in a body for years without treatment.
If you think you have trichomoniasis even though you’re in a committed relationship, you may want to take a deep breath before you dump your partner and shout, “I don’t believe you! How can you get trichomoniasis if no one cheated?”
Remember, men and women can have trich with no symptoms. Your partner may have become infected way before the two of you became exclusive.
You can even get trichomoniasis without being sexually active, but it’s much less common than getting trich from unprotected sexual activity.
People can get trichomoniasis from sharing sex toys, though you’d have to stretch your imagination to see that happening in a non-sexual context. It’s even technically possible to contract trichomoniasis non-sexually from swimming in an unclean pool, reusing bathwater, or sharing damp towels or clothes.
Damp toilet seats are gross. They’re also a potential source of trichomoniasis, though an improbable one.
Toilet seats, even in filthy port-a-johns, don’t encourage the parasite to thrive. You can, hypothetically, get trich from a toilet seat, but it’s a low risk. You can cross it off your list of things to worry about.
Undiagnosed and untreated trichomoniasis may lead to serious health concerns. Just as men and women can experience different symptoms, they can also experience different complications.
If men don’t see a doctor for this highly treatable STI, their complications may include:
Women who don’t seek treatment run the risk of:
For pregnant women, lack of treatment may cause premature birth prior to 37 weeks and low birth weight for the baby.
Both men and women may suffer from genital inflammation that increases the chance of getting and transmitting another sexually transmitted disease (STD) or STI. Without medical attention, trichomoniasis may increase the risk of getting or spreading HIV.
Trichomoniasis testing and treatment is simple, and it can help prevent serious complications. If you or your partner are experiencing possible symptoms, take the necessary steps to protect your future health.
If you show signs, you may assume you have the STI. You need to get tested for trichomoniasis to make sure.
You may feel shame or fear over getting tested, and you should know that those are common reactions. Remember, the process and the results will be confidential. Don’t let your current emotions put your current and future health at risk. Find trichomoniasis testing near you and give yourself some peace of mind
Since trich shares symptoms with other conditions, including chlamydia or gonorrhea, you might want to get tested for those sexually transmitted diseases simultaneously with an STD test panel.
A medical professional will perform your trich testing. The test may involve the doctor or nurse using a cotton swab to collect samples from your genitals. Sometimes they’ll choose a urine test instead.
A man can have trichomoniasis and test negative since test results on a penis are less accurate. Whether you’re a man or a woman, if you have symptoms and negative results, ask your doctor to retest.
While no one wants the news that STI/STD test results are positive, you can take action once you know. Inform any sexual partners and get medication to treat the infection.
If you hate to wait and you’re thinking, “I wish I could find same-day std testing near me,” Rapid STD Testing will help you find a quick, convenient location.
If you test positive for trichomoniasis, your doctor will prescribe an antibiotic, like tinidazole or metronidazole. It’s typically only one dose, and you should be sure to take it as directed.
You can get trich more than once, so if you test positive, your partner or partners should get tested and treated as well. It might be a strange date night, but maintaining good sexual health is responsible — and attractive.
Ask, “Where can couples get tested together?” You need to get treated together, too. You can get reinfected with trich, so if only one partner gets testing and treatment, you may end up passing the STI back and forth.
After you finish the full dose of your antibiotic, you should wait at least a week before having sex.
Consider follow-up testing after three months. Of course, if you notice symptoms sooner, be sure to seek testing and treatment from a health care provider.
Without proper treatment, trichomoniasis can be serious and can lead to complications. The good news is that trich is highly curable. Swallow one pill, abstain for a week, make sure your partner gets treated, and you’ll be symptom-free.
If you’re concerned about trich and other sexually transmitted diseases, there’s a sure-fire way to prevent trichomoniasis exposure, of course: Don’t have sex. No sex at all. No oral, vaginal, or anal sex. NONE.
Most people aren’t willing to abstain completely. If you’re not willing to take a self-imposed vow of chastity, you can still take some steps to reduce your chances of getting trichomoniasis.
Sure, conversations about STIs and STDs can be awkward. You’ll be much less embarrassed talking about prevention than you will be talking about positive test results and treatment.