How to Test for Trichomoniasis

How to test for trichomoniasis

Medically reviewed on February 4, 2022 by Jordan Stachel and Jasmine Thompson. To give you technically accurate, evidence-based information, content published on the Everlywell blog is reviewed by credentialed professionals with expertise in medical and bioscience fields.


Trichomoniasis (“trich”) is the most common curable sexually transmitted infection in the United States [5]. Estimates suggest that about 3.7 million people have trichomoniasis, though that number may be larger. Many people may have trichomoniasis without even knowing it [1]. This is why testing is essential for preventing trichomoniasis infections and reducing the spread of the disease. Learn more about how to test for trichomoniasis below.


The Everlywell at-home Female STD testing and Male STD Testing options can tell you whether you have trichomoniasis or other common STDs without having to go to a clinic for an in-person STD screening.


BlogCTA_v3

What Is Trichomoniasis?

Trichomoniasis is a sexually transmitted disease that is caused by a protozoan parasite known as Trichomonas vaginalis. This parasite can pass easily through sexual fluids, including vaginal fluids, pre-ejaculate, and semen. This means that the disease most commonly spreads through unprotected vaginal sex, though it can also be spread via vulva-to-vulva contact, sharing sex toys, or touching someone’s genitals with infected fluids from the hands [2].

Trichomoniasis typically only affects the genitals (the vulva, vagina, penis, and/or urethra). It rarely affects the anus, mouth, throat, or other body parts [2].

Trichomoniasis can’t spread through casual contact. For example, the parasite can’t spread by hugging, holding hands, or kissing. You can’t get the disease from sharing food or sitting on a toilet seat [2].

Symptoms of Trichomoniasis

What makes trichomoniasis so tricky is that it usually doesn’t present with symptoms for most people. About seven out of ten people with trichomoniasis show no signs of infection. While trich can affect anyone of any gender, men rarely show symptoms. Women are more likely to show symptoms, although some women do not show symptoms, and symptoms can be mild and easily mistaken for urinary tract infections, yeast infections, or other common conditions [3].

The most common symptom of trichomoniasis is vaginitis. These symptoms present in several ways, including:

  • Foul-smelling vaginal discharge that may appear green, grey, or yellow
  • Bloody discharge
  • General itching, irritation, and pain in the vagina
  • Pain during intercourse
  • Painful or burning sensation when urinating
  • Swelling in the genitals [3]

Men may experience similar symptoms, like penile discharge, burning while peeing, and a frequent urge to pee [3].

Symptoms can appear within the first 3 to 30 days following initial transmission. Symptoms can also come and go on their own, but without treatment, the infection is still present in the system and can spread to sexual partners [3].

Getting Tested for Trichomoniasis

The only way to identify a trichomoniasis infection is to get tested. Testing is a good idea if you experience any of the above symptoms or believe that you have had sex with someone who has trichomoniasis [4].

Testing procedures can vary, such as collecting urine samples, using a cotton swab to collect cell samples from the genitals, or collecting samples of discharge. These samples are then examined via microscope by a healthcare professional.

Trichomoniasis can be difficult to identify on your own, but testing is simple and accurate. The Trichomoniasis Test with Everlywell offers an easy at-home testing kit that can detect trichomoniasis using a urine sample. Everlywell’s tests allow you to get healthcare provider-reviewed results you can understand and with insights you can act on.

Once trichomoniasis has been diagnosed, it can be easily treated most often with a round of antibiotics. It’s important for your partner to get tested and treated to decrease the chances of recurring spread.

Because trichomoniasis can appear like other common STDs, you may want to take additional sexual health tests (such as the Male STD Test or Female STD Test) and visit your healthcare provider for further instructions.

Trichomoniasis vs. chlamydia: what are the differences?

How long does it take for trichomoniasis to show?


References

1. Trichomoniasis. Cleveland Clinic. URL. Accessed February 4, 2022.

2. Trichomoniasis (Trich). Planned Parenthood. URL. Accessed February 4, 2022.

3. What are the symptoms of trichomoniasis? Planned Parenthood. URL. Accessed February 4, 2022.

4. Should I get tested for trichomoniasis? Planned Parenthood. URL. Accessed February 4, 2022.

5. Trichomoniasis – CDC Fact Sheet. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. URL. Accessed February 4, 2022.

Everlywell makes lab testing easy and convenient with at-home collection and digital results in days. Learn More