Trichomoniasis is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) that can affect both sexually active women and men. Find out how to diagnose, prevent and treat the infection.


Causes and Risk Factors

Trichomoniasis is caused by the parasite Trichomonas vaginalis. It is spread through sexual contact with an infected partner. Although women are more vulnerable to the disease, men can also be infected.

Trichomoniasis Symptoms

The most common sites of infection are the vagina in women and the urethra in men.

Symptoms in women include:
Pain during urination and sexual intercourse
Itching or burning of the vagina
Abnormal vaginal discharge (thin, greenish-yellow, frothy, or foamy)

The majority of infected men show no apparent symptoms, although some men may experience:
Bodily discomforts such as slight burning after urination 
Mild penile discharge 

How to Diagnose Trichomoniasis

For women, a pelvic examination can reveal small red sores on the vaginal wall or cervix. Laboratory tests include microscopic examination of the genital discharge to confirm the diagnosis.

Treatment of Trichomoniasis 

Trichomoniasis can usually be treated with the antibiotic metronidazole given by mouth. This medication should be avoided in the first trimester of pregnancy when topical clotrimazole can be used instead.

To prevent infecting their partners, infected male counterparts should still seek treatment even if signs and symptoms do not show. Those being treated for the infection should abstain from sex until treatment is completed and symptoms recede.


Trichomoniasis may result in pre-term delivery if not treated during pregnancy. Contracting it also increases a woman's susceptibility to HIV infection.

Trichomoniasis Prevention

Trichomoniasis infection is best prevented through safe sex. Some measures to reduce the risk of transmission include:
Use condoms consistently and correctly to reduce the risk of transmission
Abstain from sex until treatment completes and symptoms recede
Infected person(s) should notify their partner(s) immediately so they can also get tested and treated if necessary
Consult your doctor if your body shows symptoms of genital discharge, burning urination, or an unusual sore or rash

If you think you may have an STI, go for a sexual health screening or HIV screening at:
DSC (Department of STI Control) Clinic
31 Kelantan Lane
#01-16, Singapore 200031
Tel: 6293 9648
Fax: 6299 4335


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