Trichomonas Infection, also known as ‘TV”, is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) caused by a small parasite. It affects both men and women.
TV can be passed on through unprotected sex and sharing sex toys.
Because many people have no symptoms and do not know they have a TV infection, you or your partner could have picked up the infection from a previous partner without even knowing it
Testing for trichomonas infection is quick and straightforward but if you or your partner are worried that you may have it contact the sexual health service.
You may be asked to provide a urine sample, or the nurse or doctor may use a swab to collect a sample of discharge from the vagina or penis. Most sexual health clinics can look at the sample straight away under the microscope and see the parasite. The swab is usually sent a to the laboratory to confirm the diagnosis.
TV can cause genital itching and soreness, and can lead to infections of the urethra (the passage that carries urine from the bladder) and, in men, infection of the prostate gland.
Almost half of all people with TV infection will have no symptoms.
If symptoms are present, these usually include a yellow or green discharge from the penis or vagina, which can sometimes have an unpleasant, ‘fishy’ smell.You may have pain or a burning sensation when peeing, or itching and soreness in the genital area.
Women may also experience pain or discomfort during sex.
If you think you or your partner may have a TV infection, it's important to get tested.
Sometimes it can show up on a cervical smear test.
Trichomonas infection can be effectively treated with antibiotics.
Your partner should also be treated, and you will be asked to return to the clinic for another test a week or so later to check that the infection has been successfully treated. You should avoid any sexual contact until both you and you partner have completed the course of antibiotics and for a week after.
The best way to prevent all sexually transmitted infections is to practice safer sex. This means using a condom for vaginal or anal sex, a dam or condom for oral sex or practising safer sex alternatives.
If you have been diagnosed with Trichomonas infection, it is important to avoid having sex until you and your partner have both finished treatment, otherwise you could be re-infected.
For more information please see FPA - trichomonas vaginalis information and advice