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Frequently Asked Questions About Trichomoniasis

Fact Checked

FAQ

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  • The parasite that causes trichomoniasis, Trichomonas vaginalis, is typically transmitted via genital contact during sexual intercourse, or through sharing sex toys that weren’t washed or covered prior to use
  • If left untreated, the infection can last for a longer period of time, and may remain in your body for years

Q: Is trichomoniasis a sexually transmitted disease (STD)?

A: Yes. Trichomoniasis is an STI that affects an estimated 3.7 million people in the U.S.1 The parasite that causes this infection, Trichomonas vaginalis, is typically transmitted via genital contact during sexual intercourse,2 or through sharing sex toys that weren’t washed or covered prior to use.3

Q: How can you tell if you have trichomoniasis?

A: The hallmark symptoms of trichomoniasis are different for men and women. These usually appear five to 28 days after the first infection.4

Women usually experience indicators like frothy and foul-smelling vaginal discharge, genital burning or itching, genital redness or swelling, or discomfort during urination or sexual intercourse. On the other hand, signs of trichmoniasis in men include an increased urge to urinate, urethral discharge or a burning sensation during urination or after ejaculation.5,6,7

However, these signs of trichomoniasis aren’t enough to fully diagnose the infection,8 and additional physical exams and laboratory tests are required to confirm it.9,10,11

Q: Can trichomoniasis be contracted nonsexually?

A: No. You cannot get trichomoniasis without having sex, since this is the only way the trichomonas parasite is spread from one person to another.12

Q: Can you get trichomoniasis from oral sex?

A: No. You cannot be infected with trichomoniasis if you have oral or anal sex,13 as the parasite is spread by genital contact from a vagina to a penis (and vice versa) or from a vagina to another vagina.14,15

Q: Can you get trichomoniasis by sitting on the toilet?

A: No. As mentioned earlier, genital contact is the primary method of trichomoniasis infection, and not by kissing or hugging, sitting on toilet seats or sharing cups, plates or cutlery.16

Q: How long does trichomoniasis last?

A: How long you can have trichomoniasis may depend on your immediate course of action after diagnosis. This STI may be addressed within a week to 10 days if you take pharmaceutical drugs,17 although they aren’t really your best option. If left untreated, the trichomoniasis infection can last for a longer period of time, reaching months or even years.18

Q: Is trichomoniasis curable?

A: Yes. In fact, the World Health Organization (WHO) highlights that trichomoniasis is a known curable STI. However, antibiotics are typically prescribed for people with trichomoniasis, which could spell disaster for their long-term health. If you are diagnosed with trichomoniasis, it’s best to utilize natural treatments such as tea tree oil, garlic19 and curcumin (found in turmeric).20

Q: Can trichomoniasis go away on its own?

A: No. It is unlikely that trichomoniasis will go away without treatment. While some may notice that the infection may “cure itself” and not show symptoms, there is a high risk that trichomoniasis can be quickly passed on to someone else.21 If you want to be sure that you’re fully cured, have yourself tested and treated.

Q: Can trichomoniasis cause infertility?

A: It’s possible for untreated trichomoniasis infection to lead to pelvic inflammatory disease (PID),22 infertility23 or fallopian tube blockage.24

MORE ABOUT TRICHOMONIASIS

Trichomoniasis: Introduction

What Is Trichomoniasis?

Trichomoniasis In Men and Women

Trichomoniasis Symptoms

Trichomoniasis Causes

Trichomoniasis Treatment

Trichomoniasis Prevention

Trichomoniasis FAQ

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