Around half of people with trichomoniasis have no symptoms. Symptoms usually take around one month to appear and include:

In women:

  • vaginal discharge
  • vulval itching
  • pain when passing urine
  • an unpleasant odour.

In men:

  • discharge from the penis
  • pain when passing urine
  • irritation inside the penis.

Getting tested

If you think you have trichomoniasis it’s important that you tell your GP or visit a sexual health clinic.  The doctor or nurse will usually carry out an examination. You may also be asked for a tiny swab of bacteria from the vagina or the urethra in men.


Trichomoniasis can be treated with a simple course of antibiotics. Do not drink alcohol while taking the antibiotics and for 48 hours after, as this can lead to severe side effects. You will need to come back for another test after treatment to make sure the infection has cleared. Your partner(s) should also be treated.


You should avoid having sex until you and your partner have completed treatment. Before having sex with a new partner you should both be tested and always use a condom.