Trichomonas vaginitis is an infection in your vagina. Your vagina connects your uterus (where a baby grows when you're pregnant) to the outside of your body. Some people call it the birth canal. Your vulva is the area between your legs on the outside of your body. Many people mistakenly refer to the vulva as the vagina.
The most common cause is having sex with an infected partner
The infection can be in your body for weeks or months before you get any symptoms
When you do get symptoms, you may have a lot of green or yellow vaginal discharge (thick fluid that comes out of your vagina) that looks bubbly or smells fishy—if this happens, see your doctor
Untreated trichomonas can cause serious problems, especially if you get this infection while pregnant
To help prevent this infection, don't have sex or, if you have sex, use a condom
The main symptom is vaginal discharge that may:
You may also have:
Your doctor will suspect trichomonas based on your symptoms. To tell for sure, your doctor will do a pelvic exam. During a pelvic exam, your doctor looks at your vulva and inside your vagina. In order to see inside, your doctor will hold your vagina open with a small instrument called a speculum. During the exam, the doctor will use a cotton swab to take a sample of discharge from your vagina and test it.
If a test done on a child shows infection, doctors will check the child for signs of sexual abuse.
You'll be prescribed an antibiotic to take by mouth—usually one dose is enough
You shouldn't drink alcohol for at least 72 hours after you take the antibiotic—it can make you feel sick, vomit, and have a headache
Doctors will also tell you to use condoms during sex or to not have sex until your infection has gone away
Your sex partners should be checked by a doctor, who will prescribe the same antibiotic. Men usually need to take the antibiotic for 1 week.
To reduce your risk of getting this infection, always use a condom during sex.