What is Trichomonas?

Trichomonas is a protozoa, which is a small organism similar to a bacteria. The protozoa can infect the vagina and urethra in a woman, or the urethra and occasionally the prostate gland in a man.

How is it transmitted?

You can contract the infection by having unprotected sexual intercourse with an infected person. As many people with an infection may have no symptoms, those infected could transmit Trichomonas without knowing it.

How will I know if I have it?

Like many other STIs, roughly half the people infected show no symptoms. In those people that do 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 or vulva may be itchy and uncomfortable and the irritation may extend into the groin. Sex may be painful.
  • It may be sore when you pass urine.


  • Unusual discharge from the penis.
  • Soreness when passing urine.
  • You may urinate more often due to the irritation inside the penis.


Trichomonas testing with Better2know is fast, accurate and highly confidential. Trichomonas is included in our Comfort and Platinum Screens, and is also available on its own. A sample of your urine is needed, so please hold your urine for two hours prior to your appointment.


Trichomonas is treated with antibiotics. You should not have unprotected sex for a week following completion of your treatment and any symptoms have subsided. Your sexual partners should also be treated to avoid re-infecting one another.

Adverse Consequences

In women, an untreated infection during pregnancy can lead to an increased risk of early labour and a baby with a low birth weight. In men, an infection can cause Prostatitis (an unpleasant infection of the prostate gland), though this is relatively rare.

For both men and women, an untreated infection can increase the risk of catching other STIs, including an HIV infection if you have unprotected sex with someone who is HIV positive.