What is it?

Trichomonas is a protozoan, which is a small organism similar to bacteria. This type of organism is very similar to a bacterium. This protozoan can infect the vagina and urethra in a woman and the urethra and occasionally the prostate gland in men.

How can I get it?

You can get the infection by having sexual intercourse (vaginal or anal) with an infected person. As no symptoms may occur, if you become infected you could pass on the infection without knowing it.

What are the symptoms?

Like many other STIs, roughly half the people infected have no symptoms. In those people that get symptoms, the following may occur:


  • Vaginal discharge. This is typically greeny-yellow, and may be 'frothy'. The discharge usually has an unpleasant or fishy smell.
  • Your vagina and vulva may be itchy and uncomfortable. The irritation may extend into the groin. Sex may be painful.
  • It may be sore when you pass urine.


  • Discharge from the penis.
  • It may be sore when you pass urine.
  • You may urinate often (due to irritation inside the penis).

Trichomonas testing

Testing with Better2Know is easy, fast and painless. It is one of the tests in our Comfort Screen, Full Screen and Platinum Screen, or is available on its own. A sample of your urine is needed. Please hold your urine for 3 hours before your appointment. Results are available four days after your sample is received in the laboratory.


Trichomonas is treated with antibiotics. You should not have unprotected sex until the treatment has finished and the symptoms have gone away. You should also have your sexual partners treated to avoid re-infecting each other. Your Better2Know Doctor will be able to prescribe and dispatch the right antibiotics for you, or you can go to your own Doctor.

Adverse consequences

In women, an untreated infection during pregnancy, can lead to an increased risk of having an early labour and a baby with a low birth weight.

In men, an infection can, rarely, cause Prostatitis (an unpleasant infection of the prostate gland).

For both men and women, an untreated infection, an lead to an increased risk of developing HIV infection if you have sex with someone who is HIV positive.