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You can prevent trichomoniasis, a sexually transmitted infection (STI), by using condoms and following safe sex practices. This infection is caused by a parasite found in sexual fluids, including vaginal secretions, semen, and pre-cum. If you have sexual intercourse without a condom with someone who has trichomoniasis, the exposure to their fluids could cause you to contract the infection. Additionally, touching the fluids of someone who has trichomoniasis and sharing sex toys can spread the STI.
Although it spreads easily through several types of fluids, trichomoniasis is also easy to treat. Some people experience few to no symptoms, while others have:
- Genital itching or irritation.
- Discolored or smelly discharge.
- Frequent or painful irritation.
If you think you might have this sexually transmitted infection, your healthcare provider can test you for trichomoniasis and prescribe antibiotics.
If you do contract trichomoniasis, it’s important to take your meds as prescribed. To prevent spreading it to others, you should also avoid sexual contact, or use condoms, for one week after finishing the treatment and until your symptoms are completely gone. Your sexual partner(s) need to be treated for trichomoniasis, as well, or you will pass the infection back and forth. Even after being treated, you can contract trichomoniasis again if you are exposed.
When you finish your trichomoniasis treatment, you can engage in safe sex practices to avoid contracting it again. You can avoid getting reinfected with trichomoniasis by using condoms and avoiding contact with infected fluids. Getting tested regularly and having open conversations with your sexual partner(s) can also help reduce your risk of getting trichomoniasis.