Often called trichomonas or trichomoniasis, TV is difficult to diagnose and despite its feminine-sounding name, it affects both women and men.
It is named after the tiny Trichomonas Vaginalis parasite that causes the infection. In women, it infects the vagina and urethra (tube from which you pee) and in men it can be found in the urethra, penis head and prostate gland. It's passed on easily through unprotected heterosexual and lesbian sex and by sharing unwashed sex toys.
TV can be symptomless in around 70% of people, which is why regular testing is vital. Signs in women include an unpleasant-smelling vaginal discharge, which can be watery and frothy, thick and/or greeny yellow. The area around the vagina and inner thighs may become sore and itchy and it may be painful to have sex or pee. Men may also experience a thin, white discharge, soreness or swelling around the penis head or foreskin and pain during urination or ejaculation.
Test yourself discreetly and easily with our trichomonas self-collection kit. Women should swab the vagina and men should swab the entrance to the urethra at the end of the penis. Test yourself once a year if in a stable relationship or two weeks after intercourse with a new partner.
Antibiotics - either a single dose or longer course - are effective for treating TV. Even if you are don't test positive for TV, you should take antibiotics if your partner has it and you should both wait seven days after treatment before resuming sexual activity (including oral sex). Avoid alcohol for up to 48 hours after treatment as drinking on these tablets can make you feel unwell.
Being infected with TV makes you more susceptible to contracting HIV so it's essential you get tested regularly and seek treatment if necessary. TV may cause problems in pregnancy, resulting in a premature birth or baby with a low birth weight.
You can reduce the risk of becoming infected with trichomonas and spreading the infection. How? Here are five simple ways to prevent you getting TV.
Use a condom - Protecting yourself during all sexual activity (vaginal, anal and oral) can reduce the risk of getting infected with trichomonas. Use a male latex condom or a female polyurethane condom during sexual contact.
Be aware - Make sure that you get checked regularly for STIs, especially if you're under the age of 25 as this is the group most at risk. In a few seconds you can order your trichomonas self-collecting test online.
Limit your number of sex partners - Changing sex partners puts you at a high risk of becoming infected with trichomonas or any other sexually transmitted infections. If you do change partners, get tested every single time, even if the person you're with assures you they don't have it. It's largely symptomless so they might not even know they're infected.
Talk to your partner - A simple conversation before beginning a sexual relationship can help. Take your time and find out whether he or she is at risk of having TV. Talk to your partner about the risk factors, the benefits of regular screening, signs to look out for and the need to use condoms, even when you're not having penetrative sex. TV and STIs are more common when ignorance is higher so it pays to have some knowledge and share it with others.
Get tested regularly - If you are in stable relationship it is recommended to do a test at least once a year. If you have multiple sexual partners you should do it every three months. Here at raTrust we can offer you various types of STI tests. You will be able to do your trichomonas test at home at a time and in an environment which is convenient for you. The whole process is very quick, discreet and you could know your results in just 2 - 5 days.
Last updated April 17, 2018