A banana and a cut open vulva-shapes fruit on a pink surface

How Can You Get
Trichomoniasis If No
One Cheats?

By Audrey Cabanel
January 4, 2024

There are a lot of rumors out there about trichomoniasis (Trich) and we are here to let you know what is real and what’s just chit-chat. Trich is one of many common sexually transmitted infections that is caused by a parasite called Trichomonas vaginalis. It is transmitted when someone has unprotected sexual contact with a person that already has the infection.

The majority of people with trichomoniasis do not experience symptoms and may be unaware that they have it. So how can you protect yourself? Read on!

How does Trichomoniasis spread?

You may be wondering how trichomoniasis spreads. For people with vaginas, Trich is found in the vulva, vagina, urethra, and cervix. In people with penises, trichomoniasis lives in the urethra. During sexual activity or contact, the parasite is transmitted via bodily fluids like vaginal fluid or semen. Usually, the infection is limited to the genitals and it’s not common to find trich in the mouth or anus. Using condoms is a very effective way to protect yourself from infection.

What are Trich symptoms?

To find out whether or not you have Trich, let’s break down the symptoms. Most of the symptoms from this sexually transmitted infection occur in the genital area and can range from mild discomfort to pain and strong irritation.

These symptoms are:

  • Itching and redness of genitals
  • Pain or burning when urinating
  • White, green, or yellowish vaginal discharge
  • Fishy vaginal smell
  • Discharge from the penis
  • Burning after ejaculate

If you are experiencing these symptoms, you can get an STD consult and see if you do indeed have trich or another infection, and learn what the best form of treatment is for you. Say you’ve had a fun night and didn’t use protection, wanting to avoid the fear of the next morning you can use our morning-after pill for STIs.

Can you get trichomoniasis without your partner cheating?

A common thought to have if your partner gets trich or any other common sexually transmitted infection is, are they cheating on me? You start to spiral, wondering how this happened, who’s going to take the dog, and it's so strange considering you’re in a fully monogamous relationship… STOP, take a breath.

As mentioned above, it’s very possible to be asymptomatic or to have extremely mild symptoms from trich that are easy to ignore. It’s possible that your partner has had trich for a while (maybe from a past partner) and is only showing symptoms now, or has now tested positive. The important thing is for both of you to get tested and to get the appropriate treatment. Trichomoniasis is easily treated with a course of antibiotics.

Can you get trichomoniasis in other ways?

Okay, so you’ve ruled out those possibilities and your partner still has a trichomoniasis infection and you are still freaking out? Being sexually active is overwhelmingly the most common way people acquire trichomoniasis. However, there are a few other, very rare ways, that you may be exposed to the parasite.

Unsanitary public pools, sharing damp towels or clothes, shared baths, or contact with a damp toilet seat are other documented ways that the trichomoniasis parasite can be passed. However, these are extremely rare ways to get it and there have been very few cases of trich spreading in these ways.

Can a UTI turn into trichomoniasis?

To put it simply, no, a UTI cannot cause Trichomoniasis. They are two very different infections that cannot lead to each other. UTI symptoms may overlap with some Trich symptoms—it’s possible to experience burning during urination with both infections—but a UTI is not the same as an STI.

Trichomoniasis comes from the parasite Trichomonas vaginalis in the genital tract, while UTIs are primarily caused by Escherichia coli (E. coli) infecting the urinary tract. You can try our Symptoms Quiz, to get more familiar with what might be happening and get the right treatment.

Can you develop trichomoniasis on your own?

Unlike BV or a yeast infection, trich is not the result of a vaginal imbalance. You must be exposed to the trichomoniasis parasite to develop a trich infection. The vast majority of patients are exposed via their sexual partners, who may or may not be experiencing symptoms or know they have an infection. Symptoms can appear weeks or even months after infection, so even if it’s been a while since your last partner, it’s most likely that you contracted the infection from them.

However, if you’re certain you didn’t get trich from a sexual partner, you may be dealing with a different infection, like BV. Both infections can cause vaginal odor, unusual discharge, and pain. If you aren’t certain which infection you have, get tested by a healthcare provider to ensure that you get the correct treatment.

We know this sounds daunting but treating Trich is very easy and effective. Through a simple round of antibiotics, your symptoms should go away very quickly after treating it.

Can you get Trichomoniasis from your sex toys?

Toys are the most fun, but they can play a part in spreading infections. Sharing sex toys with partners or not properly cleaning your toys in between play sessions can lead to the spread of STIs and recurrent infections. It’s extremely important to clean your toys in between sessions to avoid the spread of viruses. If you experience recurrent infections like BV or yeast infections, your toys may be to blame!

Clean up every time to maintain your health and well-being. Another helpful hack is to use sex toy-friendly lube, as the condition of your toys impacts the condition of YOU. If you have a silicone toy, for example, using silicone-based lube can damage it over time. If the toy has cracks and breaks in it, it can allow bacteria to proliferate, increasing the chance of infection and irritation. Make sure the lube you use with your toys is a toy-safe formula and compatible with your toy’s materials.

Consult a Wisp provider about vaginal symptoms, and more, and get the treatment you need fast. Pick up prescriptions same-day, or have them shipped to your house FREE.

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