What Is It?
TV is caused by protozoa parasite called trichomoniasis vaginalis hence the common short hand ‘TV’ or just ‘trich’.
It is a common infection of women and normally affects the vagina although it can also be found in the urethra and the vulva.
If TV is present during pregnancy it may cause difficulties such as premature labour and/or low birth weight.
Often a person can be infected with TV and have no symptoms.
The symptoms of TV are normally a thin yellow or green frothy discharge, sometimes with a fishy smell, and itching and irritation in and around the vagina. There may also be a burning sensation when passing urine (peeing).
Men can also be affected although this will normally be as a result of unprotected sexual activity with infected women.
50% of men would show no symptoms. Symptoms with men can include unusual discharge from the penis, a rash on the penis, and very rarely a burning sensation when passing urine (peeing).
TV can be transmitted by all forms of unprotected sexual activity.
TV can be prevented by using condoms or female condoms for penile or sex toy penetration.
Women who wish to protect themselves from TV, may consider not sharing sex toys and using new gloves or washing your hands between entering and/or rubbing vaginas, (tribidism).
Washing your hands after any form of sexual activity will reduce the risk of transmission.
If you have been diagnosed with TV, your sexual partner(s) should avoid contact with the affected areas or use barriers such as glyde dams, condoms or female condoms, until the infection has cleared. If you have a regular sexual partner it is advisable that they also get treatment as they may not have symptoms but they are still likely to be infected.
Remember – Regular screening at your local STI clinic is recommended to maintain your sexual health.
Treatment for TV is relatively quick and easy, and is in the form of an antibiotic tablet.