How to Test for Trichomoniasis


Trichomoniasis is a common sexually transmitted infection caused by the parasite Trichomonas vaginalis. If you are concerned about the potential exposure to this infection, it is essential to get tested to receive treatment and reduce the risk of passing it to your sexual partner. This guide will provide an overview of the different testing options for trichomoniasis and how to get tested.

Signs and Symptoms of Trichomoniasis

Trichomoniasis, or trich, is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) that affects both men and women, though it’s more common in women. Symptoms of trichomoniasis include itching and burning in the genital area, as well as pain during urination or sex.

Seeking prompt medical attention is essential if you are experiencing any of these symptoms. Trich can be challenging to diagnose because many people do not exhibit visible symptoms. 

Without treatment, trichomoniasis can increase your risk for other STIs, including HIV, and even cause infertility in women. 


So, if you think you may have trichomoniasis, getting tested immediately is essential.

Types of Tests for Trichomoniasis

Several types of tests are available to detect trichomoniasis, with each type having different accuracy rates.

  • The most common type of test for trichomoniasis is the nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT), used to detect even deficient levels of the parasite.
  • Another type of test for trichomoniasis is a wet mount. This test is less accurate than the NAAT test. However, it can detect the presence of trichomoniasis by placing a sample of genital discharge on a slide, which is then viewed under a microscope to look for the presence of the parasite.
  • The final testing type for trichomoniasis is a urine test, which is not as prevalent as the other two but can still be used to detect trichomoniasis in men.
A person in blue gloves is looking through a microscope

These trichomoniasis tests are available at a doctor’s office, clinic, certain pharmacies, or health centers. Contact your local health department for testing locations, features, or additional information.

Preparing for the Test

If you think you may have trichomoniasis, getting tested as soon as possible is crucial. Before going in for your test, there are a few things you should know and prepare for. 

First, it is important to avoid sexual intercourse before the test to help ensure the results are as accurate as possible. When you go into the doctor or clinic for the test, you can expect the healthcare provider to ask some questions about your symptoms and sexual history. The doctor may also instruct you on properly collecting a sample of cells from your vagina or penis. The selection will then be lab tested to determine your results. Once the test is complete, results are typically available within a few days. Depending on your specific circumstances, the doctor may recommend additional tests or treatments, so it is essential to follow their instructions carefully.

A man in a lab wearing a mask and gloves

In the meantime, it is vital to abstain from all sexual activities until you have received the results and any necessary treatment.

What Happens After the Test?

After your test, it usually takes a few days to get the results. During this time, it is critical to refrain from sexual activity until you have your results and can take appropriate action. If the test comes back positive for trichomoniasis, you will need to begin treatment.

Your doctor will typically prescribe an antibiotic, such as metronidazole or tinidazole, taken as prescribed. Completing the entire course of treatment is critical, even if symptoms disappear. 

In addition, sexual partners should also test for and be treated for trichomoniasis if necessary. It is essential to inform any recent sexual partners and encourage them to get tested and treated.

Last Words

Testing for trichomoniasis is crucial to protecting yourself and your partners from infection. Those concerned about potentially having trichomoniasis should seek immediate testing. Not only can trichomoniasis cause discomfort and increase the risk of other STDs, but it can also be spread to sexual partners if left untreated. Fortunately, you can efficiently manage trichomoniasis with antibiotics

Getting tested is the best way to know if you have trichomoniasis, so talk to your doctor or healthcare provider if you think you may have this sexually transmitted infection.

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