LET’S GET INTO IT: TRICHOMONIASIS
Trichomoniasis (or “trich,” for short) is the most curable STD — and it’s also very common. Because of the way it’s passed on, it affects women more than men, and older women tend to get it more than younger ones.
Wanna learn more? Here are answers to the most common asked questions about trich.
EVERYTHING YOU EVER WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT TRICH
HOW IS TRICH PASSED ON?
You can contract trich by having sex with someone who is infected with it. It’s caused by tiny, tiny parasite and it’s spread through contact between the penis and vagina or through vagina-to-vagina contact. You can also get it from sharing sex toys and touching your or your partner’s genitals with infected fluids on your hands.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF TRICH?
Most people with penises and many people with vaginas who have trich don’t notice any physical symptoms. But if they do have symptoms, they’re a little different. Also, it’s important to note that the symptoms of trich can sometimes look a lot like the symptoms of other STDs, like chlamydia and gonorrhea, so the only way to know for sure is to get tested.
In people with penises, symptoms of trich show up between 5 and 28 days after exposure. They can include itching or irritation inside the penis, burning after urination or ejaculation, unusual discharge from the penis, and discomfort during sex.
In people with vaginas, symptoms of trich show up between five and 28 days after exposure. They can include itching, burning, redness or soreness in the genitals, painful urination, increased vaginal discharge or change in its usual color or smell, and discomfort during sex.
WHERE CAN I GET TESTED FOR TRICH?
Your doctor can test you for trich if you’re showing symptoms. But if you don’t have a regular doctor — or you just don’t feel comfortable talking to them about this issue — check out our map for testing sites around DC.
WHAT’S A TRICH TEST LIKE?
There are a couple different ways to test for trich. It can involve gently rubbing your penis or vagina with cotton swab to take cell samples or it could be as simple as peeing in a cup. Nothing scary!
CAN TRICH CAUSE OTHER PROBLEMS?
If you’re pregnant, trich may cause some complications. It may lead to an earlier than expected delivery, and you can pass it onto your baby through the birth canal. Your baby may also have a low birth weight, which could lead to health or developmental challenges. Luckily, you can be treated for trich while you’re pregnant, so talk to your doctor about your best options.
HOW IS TRICH TREATED?
Trich is really easy to treat! One dose of oral antibiotics typically gets rid of the infection, but a lot of people end up getting re-infected within a few months of their first infection. So it’s worth getting tested again a couple months later, just in case.
WHEN CAN I HAVE SEX AGAIN?
Wait about a week after you take your medication to have sex again. That’s how long it takes for the medicine to get rid of the parasite.
HOW DO I PREVENT TRICH?
Because trich is spread via fluids — like cum, pre-cum, and vaginal fluids — there’s one great, accessible, and cheap way to protect yourself. Condoms! And don’t forget to use them with sex toys, too, as the parasite can be spread by sharing sex toys without protection.
Check out our condom page for info on where to find free condoms in DC.