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The cause of trichomoniasis is a single-celled parasite. The parasite is transmitted through penis-to-vagina intercourse or vulva-to-vulva contact. Engaging in these activities with an infected person is the usual cause of trichomoniasis. Latex male condoms, when used consistently and correctly, can help prevent the spread of the disease.

Cause of Trichomoniasis: An Introduction

The cause of trichomoniasis is a single-celled protozoan parasite, Trichomonas vaginalis. The vagina is the most common site of infection in women, and the urethra (urine canal) is the most common site of infection in men.
 
The parasite is sexually transmitted through penis-to-vagina intercourse or vulva-to-vulva (the genital area outside the vagina) contact with an infected partner. Women can acquire the disease from infected men or women, but men usually contract it only from infected women.
 

Preventing Trichomoniasis Transmission

The surest way to avoid transmission of sexually transmitted diseases, including trichomoniasis, is to abstain from sexual contact or to be in a long-term mutually monogamous relationship with a partner who has been tested and is known to be uninfected.
 
Latex male condoms, when used consistently and correctly, can reduce the risk of spreading trichomoniasis.
 
Any genital symptom, such as discharge or burning during urination, or an unusual sore or rash, should be a signal to stop having sex and to consult a healthcare provider immediately.
 
A person diagnosed with trichomoniasis (or any other sexually transmitted disease) should receive treatment and should notify all recent sex partners so that they can see a healthcare provider and be treated. This reduces the risk that:
 
  • The sex partners will develop complications from trichomoniasis
  • The person with trichomoniasis will become reinfected.
     
Sex should be stopped until the person with trichomoniasis and all of his or her recent partners finish treatment and have no symptoms.
 
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
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