Trichomoniasis, commonly known as "trich," is an infection caused by the protozoan Trichomonas vaginalis . This microorganism, equipped with five flagella for its movement, obtains nutrients from vaginal glycogen and adheres to cells, causing inflammation. Their survival depends on a high vaginal pH, which can be caused by conditions such as bacterial vaginosis or low estrogen levels.

Symptoms of Trichomoniasis

Symptoms of Trichomoniasis

The incubation period varies from 4 to 24 days, after which symptoms such as:

  • Yellow-green discharge
  • Pain when urinating
  • Bad smell
  • Vaginal itching and irritation
  • Light bleeding due to inflammation of the vaginal walls

However, many cases are asymptomatic, complicating early detection.

Consequences of Trichomoniasis

This infection can increase the risk of other STIs, pelvic inflammatory disease, and is associated with premature birth and low-weight babies. There is also a correlation between trichomoniasis and an increased risk of HIV infection.

Detection of Trichomoniasis

Although it is not part of routine STI testing, if you are experiencing symptoms, specific testing is crucial. Diagnostic options include:

  • Fresh examination: Microscopic observation of a vaginal sample.
  • Vaginal PH and amine test: Indicators of an environment conducive to trichomoniasis.
  • OSOM and AFFIRM III: Rapid tests and laboratory analysis.
  • INPOUCH: Culture to detect infection.
  • Nucleic acid test: The most accurate option but also the most expensive.

Treatment of Trichomoniasis

The standard treatment is the antibiotic metronidazole, administered as a single dose or as a seven-day regimen. It is essential that sexual partners receive treatment simultaneously to avoid reinfections.

Trichomoniasis treatment

Prevention and Monitoring

After treatment, it is advisable to abstain from sexual relations for seven days and follow up to confirm the eradication of the infection. It is important to practice safe sex and perform regular tests to detect and treat this and other STIs in time.


Trichomoniasis is a common STI that can be asymptomatic, underscoring the importance of timely screening and treatment. If you suspect you may be infected, see your doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment.

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