Vaginal Infections (Trichomonas Vaginelles)

Trichomonas Vaginelles

A trichomonas infection is a sexually transmitted disease (STD). Trichomonas, although it can produce unpleasant symptoms, is not usually serious and the infection is often cleared up with a course of antibiotics.


Your IPSA clinic trichomonas consultation

At your IPSA clinic, you can see your IPSA physician on your own, or jointly with your current sexual partner. During your IPSA trichomonas consultation, your IPSA doctor will discuss your previous sexual history with you, and might offer a range of additional and appropriate sexual health-screening tests.

The consultation is in IPSA’s highly confidential and conducive clinic setting. Your IPSA physician can see you straight away and at a time that fits in with your busy schedule. At IPSA, your doctor will always take your trichomonas symptoms seriously, and will treat you in a holistic, person-centred manner, offering you a full examination so as to exclude any more serious causes for your presenting symptoms.


What is trichomonas and how common is it?

Trichomonas is a type of protozoan, which similar to a bacterium, and it can infect your genital area. In women, it can infect your vagina and urethra, and in men, your urethra and sometimes your prostate gland. The trichomonas infection does not usually move any further into the body and so is often not as serious as other sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

It is an uncommon infection, with only 6,000 cases being diagnosed in the UK every year.


What are the symptoms of trichomonas infection?


  • Vaginal discharge is quite common. This is typically a greeny yellowish colour and may appear to be frothy with an unpleasant/fishy type of smell.
  • Your vulva and vagina might be itchy/uncomfortable and the irritation can extend to your groin. Sex might also be painful.
  • You might find it sore when you pass urine.
  • There are no symptoms in nearly half of all infected women. Even without symptoms, you can still pass the infection on to your sexual partner.


  • A discharge from the penis is quite common.
  • You may find it sore when you do pass urine.
  • You may find a need to pass urine more frequently (which is caused by irritation inside of the penis).
  • There are no symptoms in nearly half of all infected men. Even if you do experience no symptoms, you can still pass trichomonas on to your sexual partner.


How does the trichomonas infection occur?

A trichomonas infection is often passed on through having sex with a person who is infected. Because there are often no symptoms in both men and women who carry this infection, you might pass on trichomonas without realising it.


Are there any possible complications due to trichomonas infection?

If you are pregnant and the infection goes untreated during your pregnancy, then your risk of an early labour and a low birthweight baby increases. For men, this type of infection can sometimes lead to a more unpleasant infection in the prostate gland called prostatitis. If left untreated and you have sex with an HIV-infected person, then your risk of contracting HIV increases.


How is trichomonas infection diagnosed?

It is very important that a correct diagnosis is made, as, if you do have symptoms, the same symptoms can actually be caused by different kinds of infections. The diagnosis at your IPSA clinic will be made through taking a swab (a sample) of the discharge coming from you vagina or your penis, which is then sent to the laboratory for testing. For men, a urine sample can sometimes be used to test for trichomonas. Following a smear test, trichomonas can sometimes be seen by chance when the smear sample is examined.


Your IPSA clinic and trichomonas treatment

Your IPSA physician will usually prescribe an antibiotic called metronidazole, to be taken as a tablet, as 90% of trichomonas infections are cleared using this protocol. Treatment is usually fairly straightforward. The main metronidazole side effects and cautions include:

  • The usual metronidazole dose is 400 mg to be taken twice a day for between 5 to 7 days. A 2-gram single dose is an alternative; however, this might be both less effective and cause more side effects.
  • Some people feel sick, and might actually be sick (vomit) when taking metronidazole, although taking the tablets just after eating can reduce this side effect.
  • One common side effect is a metallic taste in the mouth.
  • Alcohol should not be consumed while taking metronidazole or for 48 hours after completing the treatment as this can cause problems such as being sick.
  • When breastfeeding, metronidazole is not thought to affect breastfed babies, but it can enter the breast milk. For safety reasons, to reduce the dose to the baby, a standard 7-day treatment with lower dose metronidazole is preferable. To limit exposure from the 2-gram single dose, the tablet should be taken following the final breastfeed in the evening (at the beginning of your overnight breastfeeding break).

As an alternative, the antibiotic tinidazole is sometimes used.

Trichomonas infection can clear up sometimes with no treatment, but it may take a number of weeks, and it does not always clear in this way. IPSA advises treatment in all cases that present with trichomonas.


Does my sexual partner also require treatment?

Even when your partner has no trichomonas symptoms, you must both be treated together, and should refrain from sex until the treatment is completed and any symptoms have gone.

Some other points to note about trichomonas infection:

  • After being treated, the infection can return if you have sex with a different partner who may carry trichomonas or if your sexual partner was not treated.
  • Your IPSA practitioner may advise you (and your partner) to be tested for other STIs, as these are more common if you have trichomonas infection.


If you do suspect that you have trichomonas (or indeed any other STI), then book your same-day trichomonas or STI IPSA consultation by phoning IPSA or making your booking online.



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