Trichomoniasis is caused by a tiny parasite called Trichomonas Vaginalis (TV).

How is it passed on?

Trichomoniasis is usually spread by having unprotected sex, although it could also be spread by sharing sex toys.


Symptoms usually develop within a month of infection, although up to half of all infected people have no symptoms.

Symptoms can include:

  • Thin white discharge from the penis
  • Pain during urination.
  • Soreness and itching around the vagina
  • An unusual change in vaginal discharge

Long term effects

If trichomoniasis is left untreated, this may make it easier for you to become infected with other STIs, including HIV. Find out more about HIV.


Trichomoniasis is unlikely to go away without treatment, but it can be effectively treated with antibiotics.

However, if your symptoms remain or recur after treatment, you may require further testing to see whether your symptoms are being caused by a different sexually transmitted infection.

Telling your partner

If you have trichomoniasis, you should tell all of your current partners and any other recent partners (at least those within the last 3 months). They may have trichomoniasis without knowing it, so it is important for them to be tested.

How to avoid trichomoniasis

  • Condoms are very effective at preventing trichomoniasis.
  • Regular testing each time you change sexual partner helps reduce the spread of STIs.

Where to get tested

You can get tested at your local sexual health clinic or by your GP. The clinician will examine your genital area and will take a swab. This should not hurt but may be a little uncomfortable.


How long after infection does trichomoniasis show up in tests?

Test results are most accurate one to four weeks after exposure.

Can my partner tell if I have trichomoniasis?

They may be able to tell if you have symptoms of infection, but if you don't have any symptoms your partner wont be able to tell. However, you should tell your partner if you have trichomoniasis as they will need testing and may need treatment.

Does trichomoniasis affect fertility?

No, trichomoniasis does not affect fertility.