Trichomoniasis is a common sexually transmitted infection (STI) that affects both women and men. Symptoms are more common in women. Infection is caused by Trichomonas vaginalis, a pathogenic protozoan. The vagina is the most common site of infection in women, and the urethra (urine canal) is the most common site of infection in men. The parasite is transmitted through sexual contact.
Men with trichomoniasis generally do not have signs or symptoms. Recognised symptoms include a transient irritation inside the penis, mild discharge, burning and discomfort after passing urine. Symptoms in women include; a frothy, yellow-green vaginal discharge that has an odour. Women may report discomfort passing water, as well as irritation and itching of the genital area. Infection may also be associated with discomfort during sexual intercourse. Symptoms usually appear in women within 5 to 28 days of exposure.
Trichomoniasis is usually diagnosed by performing laboratory tests since clinical manifestations of the disease can vary. Metronidazole, an antibiotic, is the treatment of choice in both men and women.
Last updated: 7 May 2008