Trichomoniasis (also called tric) is a sexually transmitted disease (also called STD). An STD is an infection you can get from having sex with someone who is infected. You can get an STD from vaginal, anal or oral sex.

Each year in the United States, 7.4 million people get infected with trichomoniasis.

Can tric cause problems during pregnancy?

Yes. If you’re pregnant and have tric, you’re more likely than a woman without tric to have premature rupture of the membranes (also called PROM). This is when the sac around the baby breaks early, causing labor to start. PROM can lead to premature birth, which is birth before 37 weeks of pregnancy.

Babies born to mothers with trichomoniasis are more likely than babies of uninfected mothers to be born at low birthweight (less than 5 pounds, 8 ounces).

How do you know if you have tric?

You may have tric if you have:

  • Vaginal discharge that is yellow-green and has an unpleasant odor
  • Genital itching and redness
  • Discomfort when you go to the bathroom or have sex

If you think you may have tric, tell your health care provider. She can examine you for signs of tric. She also takes a sample of vaginal fluid to check for the infection. The sample is sent to a lab for testing.

Trichomoniasis usually is treated with the antibiotics metronidazole or tinidazole. Antibiotics are medicines that kill infections caused by bacteria. These medicines can usually cure the infection. However, they may not reduce your chances of having premature birth.

How can you protect yourself against tric?

Here’s how to protect yourself from tric:

  • Get tested and treated. If you find out you have tric, get treatment right away.
  • Don’t have sex. This is the best way to prevent yourself from getting an STD, including tric.
  • If you have sex, have sex with only one person who doesn’t have other sex partners. Use a condom if you’re not sure if your partner has an STD. Ask your partner to get tested and treated for STDs.

Last reviewed: May, 2013