- Medically reviewed by Dr Andrea Pinto Lopez, M.D.
How does a trichomoniasis test work?
How does a trichomoniasis test work? Let’s run through the different types of testing for trichomoniasis, as well as where you can purchase a trichomoniasis test.
Trichomoniasis is a sexually transmitted disease caused by a parasite called trichomonas vaginalis (TV), which passes from an infected person to another during sex. Trichomoniasis is passed through the exchange of fluids from the vagina and the penis from one infected person to the other.
Trichomoniasis most commonly affects the:
How does a trichomoniasis test work?
A trichomoniasis test may require a urine or genital swab collection sample.
According to Mayo Clinic, trichomoniasis can be diagnosed by looking at a sample of vaginal fluid for women or urine for men under a microscope.
If the parasite can be seen under the microscope, no further tests are needed. If this test isn’t conclusive, more sensitive tests called rapid antigen tests and nucleic acid amplification may be used.
How do you test for trichomoniasis?
Trichomoniasis tests look for the presence of the parasite trichomonas vaginalis (TV).
- Swab samples can be used to test vaginal fluids in women.
- Urine samples can be taken in men and women to test for trichomoniasis.
At home trichomoniasis tests
At home trichomoniasis tests are non-invasive and easy to use.
The type of collection you will need to collect will depend on the at home provider you choose to go with.
Some providers will require a urine sample (LetsGetChecked, Health Testing Centers, MyLAB Box, Priority STD Testing and Everlywell), whereas others may require or also include a vaginal swab sample (Nurx, MyLAB Box).
Here’s how at home trichomoniasis tests work:
- Order your selected trichomoniasis test online.
- Take either a urine sample or swab collection depending on the test requirements.
- Mail your sample to the lab using the self-addressed envelope included in the price.
- Receive your results via phone call or by logging into your secure online portal.
You can quickly and easily order an at home trichomoniasis test from the following providers:
- LetsGetChecked ($119 including chlamydia and gonorrhea which often present similar symptoms to trichomoniasis)
- MyLAB Box ($79)
- Health Testing Centers (Starting from $89)
- Priority STD Testing (Starting from $99)
- Nurx ($190 including HIV, chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis testing)
- Everlywell ($49)
What samples do each at home provider require?
- LetsGetChecked (Urine)
- MyLAB Box (Urine and swab collection)
- Health Testing Centers (Urine)
- Priority STD Testing (Urine)
- Nurx (Swab collection)
- Everlywell (Urine)
How does a doctor test for trichomoniasis?
A doctor would test for trichomoniasis in the same way that home tests can be used to to diagnose the condition.
A doctor will either collect a swab or urine sample, and send these samples to the lab where lab technologists will look for evidence of the parasite under a microscope.
What are the first signs and symptoms of trichomoniasis?
Trichomoniasis symptoms in women:
- Unusual discharge that may be yellow or green in colour.
- A fishy smell.
- Itchiness in and/or around the vagina.
- Soreness and/or swelling around the vagina.
- Discomfort or pain during urination and/or sex.
- Discomfort or pain in the lower abdomen.
Trichomoniasis symptoms in men:
- Unusual discharge which may be whitish in colour.
- Discomfort or pain during urination.
- A burning sensation during urination.
- Soreness or swelling at the tip of the penis.
- Redness at the tip of the penis.
Usually it takes 5-28 days for symptoms to appear following exposure to trichomoniasis.
What should you do if you think you have trichomoniasis?
If you think you have trichomoniasis, you should:
- Avoid having sex until you have been tested and have received a diagnosis.
- Do not douche (wash your genitals) even if you are noticing an unusual smell or discharge. This can lead to further irritation.
- Do not panic. Trichomoniasis is very treatable, if you test positive for trichomoniasis, you will be able to get treated quickly and efficiently.
How do you get trichomoniasis if your partner doesn’t have it?
Trichomoniasis is most commonly contracted through having unprotected sex with an infected partner.
If you receive a diagnosis for trichomoniasis, there are a couple of possible explanations.
The symptoms of trichomoniasis can remain dormant for weeks which means that:
- Your partner could have contracted trichomoniasis in a previous sexual relationship.
- You could have contracted trichomoniasis in a previous sexual relationship but are only experiencing the symptoms now.
Does trichomoniasis have a smell?
Trichomoniasis may produce a foul fishy smell in women.
What does trichomoniasis look like?
Trichomoniasis doesn’t have a definitive aesthetic appearance, however it can lead to swelling and redness in both male and female genitals.
Can you get rid of trichomoniasis?
Trichomoniasis is usually treated with a single dose of prescription antibiotic medication (either metronidazole or tinidazole), pills which can be taken by mouth. It is okay for pregnant women to take this medication.
- Trichomoniasis - Everything you need to know - stdwatch.com
- Trichomoniasis - mayoclinic.org
- LetsGetChecked - letsgetchecked.com
- MyLAB Box mylabbox.com
- Health Testing Centers - healthtestingcenters.com
- Priority STD Testing - prioritystdtesting.com
- Nurx - nurx.com
- Everlywell - everlywell.com
- Trichomoniasis treatment & care - cdc.gov