What is Trichomoniasis? Discharge pictures in female and male

discharge in female
Discharge pictures in female

Trichomoniasis is a  sexually transmitted infection that present with  frothy discharge and painful urination. Trichomoniasis is caused by a parasite called trichomonas vaginalis. Despite the name vaginalis males are also infected and In female, trichomoniasis produces foul-smelling vaginal discharges and  itching genitals.

 In males trichomoniasis may show no sign or symptoms but the disease is lethal in pregnant mothers as it may cause higher premature delivery risks.

The best thing you can do is to prevent trichomoniasis by using ways like condoms when engaging in sexual activities and make sure all your partners are treated. The treatment of trichomoniasis involves taking drugs like Metronidazole, tinidazole or secnidazole. Make sure you consult your doctor for any contraindication of the named medicines.

Symptoms of trichomoniasis

Most people with trichomoniasis have no signs or symptoms. However, symptoms may develop over time. When signs and symptoms develop, they are different for men and women.

Even if symptoms and signs may not be prominent, trichomoniasis may take longer to show them. Most common symptoms in females and males include: 

In female sex, trichomoniasis signs and symptoms include:

  • A large amount of a thin, often foul-smelling discharge from the vagina — which might be clear, white, gray, yellow or green
  • Genital redness, burning and itching
  • Pain with urination or sexual activity
  • Discomfort over the lower part of the abdominal area

In male sex, trichomoniasis causes symptoms and signs like: 

When to seek help from health provider.

Consult a health care provider whenever you see symptoms of trichomoniasis as explained above. Also do the same if there is a history of your partner having the symptoms. 


Trichomoniasis is caused by a parasite called trichomonas vaginalis (Tv). TV is a parasite in a group called protozoa. The parasite passes between people during genital contact, including vaginal, oral or anal sex. The infection by Tv is contracted through sexual contact in female and male during oral, vaginal or anal sex.

This parasite infects the lower part of genital tract. In females, this includes the outer part of the genitals (vulva), vagina, opening of the uterus (cervix) and the urinary opening (urethra). In men, the parasite infects the inside of the penis (urethra).

The time between exposure to the parasite and infection (incubation period) is unknown. But it's thought to range from four to 28 days. Even without symptoms, you or your partner can still spread the infection.

Risk factors

Risk factors for getting trichomoniasis include having:


Pregnant women who have trichomoniasis might:

  • Deliver too early (prematurely)
  • Have a baby with a low birth weight
  • Give the infection to the baby as the baby passes through the birth canal

Having trichomoniasis causes irritation in the genital area that may make it easier for other STIs to enter the body or to pass them to others. Trichomoniasis also appears to make it easier to become infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), the virus that causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS).

Trichomoniasis is associated with an increased risk of cervical or prostate cancer.

Untreated, trichomoniasis infection can last for months to years.


As with other sexually transmitted infections, the only way to prevent trichomoniasis is to not have sex. To lower your risk, use internal or external condoms correctly every time you have sex.


Your health care provider may diagnose trichomoniasis by doing an exam of the genitals and lab tests.

Your health care provider may also look at a sample of vaginal fluid for women or a swab from inside the penis (urethra) for men under a microscope. If the parasite can be seen under the microscope, no further tests are needed.

If the test doesn't show the parasite, but your provider thinks you may have trichomoniasis, other tests may be done. Your provider may order tests done on a sample of vaginal fluid, a penis urethral swab or sometimes urine. Tests include a rapid antigen test and nucleic acid amplification test.

If you have trichomoniasis, your provider may also do tests for other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) so they can also be treated. 

Read also: Trichomoniasis test 

discharge in female
                                                          Discharge pictures in male


Treatment of trichomoniasis requires an oral antibiotic that is effective against infections caused by this parasite. Treatment can be given during pregnancy. Options may include:

  • High stat dose. Your health care provider may recommend one large dose (megadose) of either metronidazole (Flagyl), tinidazole (Tindamax) or secnidazole (Solosec). You only take these oral medications one time.
  • Divided doses. Your provider might recommend several lower doses of metronidazole or tinidazole. You take the pills two times a day for seven days. To help clear up the infection completely, keep taking this medicine for the full time your provider prescribed the drug, even if you begin to feel better after a few days. If you stop using this medicine too soon, your infection may not go away completely.

Considerations when treating Trichomoniasis

All sex partners need treatment at the same time. This prevents getting the infection again right way (reinfection). And you need to avoid sex until the treatment is done and the symptoms have gone away. This usually takes about a week after finishing the last antibiotic dose. Tell your health care provider if symptoms don't go away after treatment.

Drinking alcohol during and for a few days after treatment can cause severe nausea and vomiting. Don't drink alcohol for 24 hours after taking metronidazole, 48 hours after taking secnidazole or 72 hours after taking tinidazole.

Your health care provider will typically retest you for trichomoniasis after treatment. A retest two weeks to three months after treatment can check to be sure the infection is gone and that you haven't been reinfected.

Even if you've had treatment that gets rid of trichomoniasis, it's possible to get it again if you're exposed to someone with the infection.


Treating trichomoniasis like any STIs, the doctor needs to have a factual information from you and the detailed sexual behavior. Make sure to describe all your symptoms to your doctor so he provides correct diagnosis and treatment. You will need to call a partner so they also get treated to prevent the re-infection. Your doctor will prescribe drugs for treating trichomoniasis.

Here are pictures of how other STDs look

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References For STD-STI Information

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