What is trichomoniasis (trich)?

Trichomoniasis is the most common non-viral sexually transmitted disease (STD) in the world. Most people call the condition trich. Its name comes from the parasite Trichomonas vaginalis that causes the disease.

You may have trich and not know it —the infection rarely causes symptoms. Trich is contagious, which means you might unknowingly infect others through sexual contact. You may also hear STDs like trich referred to as sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

How common is trichomoniasis (trich)?

Trichomoniasis is the most common curable STD affecting both men and women in America. Approximately 3.7 million people have the disease.

Who might get trichomoniasis (trich)?

Trich affects all genders. Women (especially older women) are more likely than men to get the disease. Black women are more prone to the disease. Your risk for trich increases if you:

  • Don’t use condoms while having sex.
  • Have multiple sexual partners.

Is trichomoniasis (trich) contagious?

Yes, trich is very contagious. In addition to affecting the genitals, trich can also infect the anus, mouth and hands.

What causes trichomoniasis (trich)?

A parasite called Trichomonas vaginalis causes this STD. Once you’re infected, you can give trich to someone else through:

  • Vaginal-penile or vaginal-vaginal intercourse.
  • Anal sex.
  • Oral sex.
  • Genital touching (skin-to-skin contact without ejaculation).

What are the symptoms of trichomoniasis (trich)?

One reason trich spreads so easily is that a large number of infected people — up to 70% — never have symptoms. You may infect others before you know you have the disease. In fact, men rarely show any signs of infection. When symptoms occur, they tend to appear within five to 28 days after exposure. You may experience:

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 06/05/2020.


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