Nicknamed “trich,” trichomoniasis is one of the most common sexually transmitted disease (STDs) in the United States, impacting more than 3.5 million Americans, most of whom are unaware they are infected. According to the CDC, less than a third of those with trich develop symptoms, but the good news is that trich is among the most easily treated STDs.

Though trich is a very common STD, there is a great deal of misunderstanding and misinformation out there about it. Here are some of the most common questions people have about trich and answers to them.

In This Section

  • What are the first signs of trichomoniasis?
  • What does trichomoniasis smell like?
  • What will happen if trichomoniasis is left untreated?
  • Can trich go away on its own?
  • Can trichomoniasis kill you?
  • How does trichomoniasis start?
  • Can apple cider vinegar get rid of trichomoniasis?
  • How does a man know if he has trichomoniasis?
  • Can you get rid of trichomoniasis naturally?
  • Is trichomoniasis only sexually transmitted?
  • Can trichomoniasis turn into chlamydia?
  • Does trichomoniasis smell like fish?
  • Can trichomoniasis be caused by a yeast infection?
  • Can you get trich from a toilet seat?
  • Can you get trichomoniasis from giving oral?
  • How long can you have trichomoniasis without knowing?
  • Does tea tree oil kill trichomoniasis?

What are the first signs of trichomoniasis?

Most people who have trichomoniasis, or trich, do not have any symptoms of the infection. In fact, 70% of people with trich have no signs at all. But for those who do, the most common signs vary between men and women, though most people will have burning or redness in their penis or vagina as well as discharge from their genitals.

What does trichomoniasis smell like?

Some women who are infected with trich can experience vaginitis, which can cause a green, yellow or gray discharge that carries a strong, fishy smell.

What will happen if trichomoniasis is left untreated?

Untreated trich can have serious implications, particularly for women, who can experience inflammation of the urethra, vagina and cervix and are at risk of pelvic inflammatory disease, which can impact a woman’s fertility. For both men and women, having trich increases their risk of contracting HIV.

Can trich go away on its own?

Trich does not resolve on its own, but successful treatment is very easy, often consisting of a single dose of antibiotics. After you take the medication, you should not have sex again for at least a week, which is how long it takes the medicine to work. And having trichomoniasis once and getting it taken care of does not mean that you can’t get it again in the future.

Can trichomoniasis kill you?

On its own, trich is not fatal, even if the infection is not cured through medication. But for both men and women, having trich raises the risk of getting HIV, and trich can create inflammation of the vagina and cervix in women, which can lead to other serious health problems, such as pelvic inflammatory disease.

How does trichomoniasis start?

Trichomoniasis is a parasite that’s easily passed from an infected person to an uninfected person via bodily fluids, including semen, vaginal fluids and pre-cum. The infected fluids can be shared during vaginal sex or vulva-to-vulva contact. It also can spread on shared sex toys or by touching genitals after the hands have come into contact with infected fluids.

Can apple cider vinegar get rid of trichomoniasis?

The only remedy for trichomoniasis is a course of antibiotics, which could consist of a single dose of medication. Trich can lead to vaginitis, which often includes vaginal discharge and a foul odor. There are some home remedies, including treating the vagina or other affected area with apple cider vinegar, that many people believe can alleviate the symptoms of trich, but the infection itself can only be cleared up with medication.

How does a man know if he has trichomoniasis?

Men with trich rarely show any obvious symptoms, but the ones that appear most frequently are discharge from the penis, frequent urination and pain or a burning sensation when peeing. The only way to be sure whether you have it is to get tested, which involves taking a quick swab of material from your urethra.

Can you get rid of trichomoniasis naturally?

Trichomoniasis, or trich, can only be cured through medication. If you have trich, a doctor will prescribe an antibiotic pill, usually metronidazole or tinidazole. Many people suggest home remedies for alleviating some of the more unpleasant trich symptoms, which can include discharge and pungent vaginal odor, but none of those treatments will clear up the infection from the body.

Is trichomoniasis only sexually transmitted?

Trich (trichomoniasis) cannot be transmitted through casual, non-sexual activities, but it’s not necessarily required to have vaginal intercourse for trich to be passed from one person to another. Trich is a parasite that’s transmitted through bodily fluids, including vaginal fluid, semen and pre-cum, so the only way to contract it is by getting those fluids on or inside your vulva, vagina or penis.

Can trichomoniasis turn into chlamydia?

Trichomoniasis and chlamydia are distinct sexually transmitted diseases that are both, unfortunately, quite common, though neither disease can contribute to or cause the other. Both are notoriously difficult to diagnose, as many, if not most, people who are infected with either condition do not display symptoms. Both STDs also cause discharge from the penis or vagina, so they are sometimes mistaken for each other. That’s why it’s important for sexually active people to undergo regular testing for sexually transmitted infections.

Does trichomoniasis smell like fish?

While many women who contract trichomoniasis do not show any obvious symptoms, one of the more unpleasant signs of trich is a pungent, fishy odor accompanying a discolored vaginal discharge. The discharge sometimes will include blood, which can also add to the foul-smelling odor. While men who have trich may experience discharge from the penis, it’s unlikely to be accompanied by a bad smell.

Can trichomoniasis be caused by a yeast infection?

Most women who contract trichomoniasis don’t have any obvious signs of infection, but for those who do, the signs often can be mistaken for something else. For instance, one of the obvious signs of trich is a frothy, foul-smelling discharge that many women mistake for a yeast infection, which also often results in discharge. Both are also often mistaken for bacterial vaginosis, which can cause itching and a foul smell. The only way to get trich, though, is to come into contact with bodily fluids infected with the parasite.

Can you get trich from a toilet seat?

No, the only way to contract trich is for infected bodily fluids (semen, pre-cum or vaginal fluids) to come into contact with your penis, vagina or vulva. Casual contact, such as kissing or hugging, also cannot cause trich.

Can you get trichomoniasis from giving oral?

Trichomoniasis is a very common sexually transmitted disease that’s caused by a parasite that passes through bodily fluids (vaginal fluid, pre-cum and semen), so the only way to contract it is for an uninfected person’s penis, vagina or vulva to come into contact with the bodily fluids of an infected person. While it may be possible to contract trich through many different sex positions and acts, the most common methods are penis-in-vagina sex or vagina-to-vagina sex. In some cases, uninfected people who use their hands during sex with an infected person and then touch their own genitals could contract trich.

How long can you have trichomoniasis without knowing?

Unfortunately, most people who have trich are unaware they are infected, which is one reason why the parasite spreads so easily. Even if an infected person has no obvious symptoms, they still can pass trich along to sex partners, and having trich raises a person’s risk of contracting HIV.

Does tea tree oil kill trichomoniasis?

The only way to get rid of trichomoniasis is to see a doctor, who will prescribe a course of antibiotics, often a single dose of metronidazole or tinidazole. Particularly for women, many of the symptoms of trich can be very unpleasant, including a discolored, foul-smelling vaginal discharge. Many people have turned to home remedies for alleviating this and other unpleasant symptoms, including treating the affected areas with tea tree oil. While in some people this may temporarily alleviate a few of the effects of trich, the only way to kill the parasite is by taking antibiotics.