What is trichomoniasis?

Trichomoniasis is an infection caused by a parasite that can occur in both men and women, but is more common in women. In men, the infection occurs in the tube that carries urine out of the body (the urethra) as well as in the prostate. In women, the infection occurs most often in the vagina. In most cases, the infection is transmitted during sex with an infected person. In women, however, in addition to contracting trichomoniasis through sexual contact, the infection can develop if another, pre-existing infection is present in the vagina.

In most cases, trichomoniasis is not serious. It can be treated and cured.

What are the symptoms of trichomoniasis?

In women, symptoms include:

  • Heavy discharge from the vagina.
  • Foamy discharge (70% of cases have thin discharge).
  • Yellow, greenish or gray discharge.
  • Discharge that has a bad odor.
  • Painful sex.
  • Pain when you urinate, urinary frequency.
  • Itching near vagina, burning in vagina.

In men, there are typically no symptoms and the infection can clear on its own within 10 days. However, if symptoms are present they can include:

  • White discharge from the penis (rarely).
  • Pain when you urinate (rarely).

You can have trichomoniasis without having symptoms. Most men who get the infection often do not have symptoms. Infected people who do not have symptoms can still spread the infection.

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