Diagnosing trichomoniasis

Trichomoniasis can sometimes be difficult to diagnose because symptoms are similar to those of othersexually transmitted infections (STIs).

If you think you may have trichomoniasis, you should visit your GP or yourlocal genitourinary medicine (GUM) clinic.

Find your nearest sexual health clinic.

Some GP surgeries offer an enhancedsexual health service for diagnosing and treating STIs. It may be better to visit a GUM clinic instead because these clinics can carry out accurate tests more quickly.

In some cases, your GP may refer you to a GUM clinic for tests and treatment if they think you have trichomoniasis.


If yourdoctor or nurse suspects you have trichomoniasis, they'll usually carry out an examination of your genital area.

In women, trichomoniasis may cause abnormal vaginal discharge or red blotches on the walls of the vagina and on the cervix (the neck of the womb).

If you are a man with suspected trichomoniasis, your doctor or nurse will examine your penis for signs of inflammation or discharge.

Laboratory testing

Aftera physical examination, yourdoctor or nurse may need to take a swab from either the vagina or penis. The swab will be analysed in a laboratory to check for signs ofthe trichomoniasis infection. It may take several days for the results to come back.

In men, a urine sample can also be tested for trichomoniasis.

If yourdoctor or nurse strongly suspects you have trichomoniasis, you may be advised to begin a course of treatment before your results come back. This ensures your infection is treated as soon as possible and reduces the risk of the infection spreading.

Seetreating trichomoniasisfor more information.

Notifying sexual partners

If the test shows you have trichomoniasis, it's very important that your current sexual partner and any other recent partners are also tested and treated. The staff at the clinic orGP surgerycan discuss with you which of your sexual partners may need to be tested.

If possible, tell your sexual partner and any ex-partners so they can get tested and treated as well. If you don't want to do this, the clinic can usually do it for you (it's called partner notification and the clinic won't reveal who you are).

If you've had trichomoniasis and have been cured, there's no need to tell any future partners.

Content supplied by the NHS Website

Medically Reviewed by a doctor on 30 Nov 2016