Trichomoniasis test results after treatment for trichomoniasis symptoms in men and women

Trichomoniasis Symptoms in Men and Women

Medically reviewed by Neka Miller, PhD on May 15, 2020. 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.

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Trichomoniasis, or “trich” as it is popularly called, might not be as well-known of a sexually transmitted infection (STI or STD) compared to chlamydia and herpes. But it’s still one of the most common STDs in men and women—so read on to learn more about trichomoniasis: what it is, common symptoms in men and women, long-term health effects, and more.

What Is Trichomoniasis?

A non-bacterial, non-viral parasite is responsible for trichomoniasis. You can develop the infection by having vaginal sex with an infected person. A man can give a woman trichomoniasis, and vice versa. “Trich” is more common in women compared to men, but anyone who’s sexually active is at risk.

The bodily location of this sexually transmitted infection depends on whether you're a man or a woman. Men can get trichomoniasis in the urethra (the tube that removes urine from the body). This can cause an itchy urethra in males. On the other hand, in women the infection typically presents itself in the lower genital tract (including the cervix, vagina, vulva, and/or urethra). Fortunately, trichomoniasis is easy to treat in the vast majority of cases, so symptoms can be effectively eliminated. To diagnose whether your symptoms are attributed to an STI like trichomoniasis, consider utilizing an at-home trichomoniasis test for accurate identification.

Trichomoniasis Symptoms in Men

Like several other STDS (such as asymptomatic herpes), trichomoniasis doesn't always occur with noticeable symptoms: only about 30% of people with an infection experience symptoms.

However, if symptoms do occur, they can cause mild to severe discomfort. The onset of trichomoniasis symptoms can vary. For example, some people notice signs of the infection within 4 to 28 days of exposure, but others may not notice them until later. Additionally, the symptoms can come and go over time. If you're a man with trichomoniasis, you may notice:

  • Burning after ejaculation or urination
  • Abnormal discharge from the penis
  • Genital itching or irritation
  • A frequent urge to urinate

Trichomoniasis Symptoms in Women

For women, trichomoniasis symptoms can include:

  • Genital inflammation, including burning, itching, redness, or soreness
  • Discomfort during urination
  • Changes in the amount, color, and scent of vaginal discharge
  • Possible bloody vaginal discharge
  • Painful sexual intercourse

It's important to note that, for women, symptoms of trichomoniasis can be similar to those associated with bacterial vaginosis. Learn more about symptoms and causes of bacterial vaginosis (BV) to understand the distinctions.

Untreated Trichomoniasis in Men and Women: Long-Term Health Effects

Because trichomoniasis often causes no observable symptoms (especially in men), the infection can go undetected for months or years. Similar to untreated chlamydia in men and women, this STD can negatively affect one's health if it isn't detected and treated. For example:

  • Having untreated trichomoniasis can increase your risk of getting and spreading other STDs, including HIV.
  • In a pregnant woman, a trichomoniasis infection can cause preterm delivery and low birth weight in newborns.

Testing for STDs like trichomoniasis can help you get prompt diagnosis and treatment if you do get an infection- which is why routine screening is important for protecting your sexual health.

Diagnosing Trichomoniasis

If you have symptoms of this STD, speak with your healthcare provider to learn what steps to take next. Depending on their evaluation, your healthcare provider may recommend that you get tested for trichomoniasis and/or other STDs.

You have the convenience of getting tested either at a clinic or from the comfort of your home. With Everlywell's STD telehealth treatment, testing is simplified. Urgent care for STIs is available when and where you need it with Everlywell's telehealth services. If you suspect you may have been exposed to a sexually transmitted infection or disease, you can connect with a clinician in less than two hours.

Once you have a diagnosis, treatment for a trichomoniasis infection is typically done with oral medications-which may cure the infection and eliminate your symptoms.

Can You Get Reinfected With Trichomoniasis?

It's possible to get this infection more than once. In fact, about 20% of people will get reinfected within three months of receiving treatment. However, there are several ways to avoid getting this STD again.

  • If you and/or your sexual partner is receiving treatment for trichomoniasis, wait until the recommended course of medication has been completed before having sex again.
  • Use protection (like a latex condom) whenever you have sex. This can reduce your risk of contracting a “trich” infection and other STDs.

Common Trichomoniasis FAQs

How long can a man or woman carry trich?

Trichomoniasis can be carried for an extended period in both men and women, especially since it occasionally causes no observable symptoms. Without treatment, the infection can go undetected for months or even years. For more information on the consequences of untreated trichomoniasis, read on regarding What Happens If Trichomoniasis Goes Untreated.

Can faithful couples get trichomoniasis?

Yes, faithful couples can still contract trichomoniasis if one partner becomes infected through sexual contact outside of the relationship. It's important to note that certain STIs can be indolent or take months, and even years, before showing any symptoms. Consequently, even faithful couples may be at risk of contracting STIs due to untreated past infections.

What STD can be mistaken for trich?

Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is an STD that can be mistaken for trichomoniasis in women due to similar symptoms, including changes in vaginal discharge. However, BV is caused by an imbalance of bacteria rather than a parasite like trichomoniasis. Explore comparisons between trichomoniasis and other STD, such as Trichomoniasis vs. Yeast Infection and Trichomoniasis vs. Chlamydia.

Trichomoniasis vs. Chlamydia: What Are the Differences?

Can You Get Trichomoniasis Without Being Sexually Active?

What Are the Symptoms of Trichomoniasis?


  1. Trichomoniasis - CDC Fact Sheet. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. URL. Accessed May 15, 2020.
  2. Trichomoniasis - Diagnosis and Treatment. Mayo Clinic. URL. Accessed May 15, 2020.
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