What is Trike?

By  Youth Projects     |    Updated: 25th April, 2017    |    3 min read

Trike-oh-mon-eye-a-sis (parasite/protozoa)

Trichomoniasis (called “trike” for short) is a common STI caused by the parasite Trichomoniasis vaginalis. The parasite usually lives in the lining of the vagina, causing infection and inflammation. Men can also be infected but usually do not have any symptoms.

How do you get Trike?

Trike is passed from person to person during vaginal sex. Trike can also be passed on via vaginal discharge from hands or sex toys. Women can get Trike from infected men or women, but men usually contract it only from infected women.

Signs and symptoms

As with some other STI’s, there may be no symptoms at all so you may not know you have the infection. This is why having a sexual health check is important. When there are symptoms present, they usually show up within 1 - 4 weeks of having unprotected sex.

Women with trike may have the following symptoms:

  • A change in the colour (usually yellow-green), amount or smell of vaginal discharge.
  • Itching, discomfort, irritation or burning around the vulva.
  • Pain or discomfort during sex.
  • Pain or discomfort in the lower abdomen.
  • Burning or stinging when urinating or after urinating.
  • Needing to urinate more frequently.

Men with trike may have the following symptoms:

  • Discharge from the penis.
  • Stinging or discomfort while urinating.
  • Burning sensation while urinating.
  • Needing to urinate more frequently.

There may be no symptoms at all so you may not know you have the sexually transmitted infection

What are the long term health problems of untreated Trike?

Although the symptoms of Trike can be pretty uncomfortable, there are no serious complications. Occasionally, Trike infections in pregnant women can lead to babies being a smaller weight at birth or babies being born prematurely (before the due date).

How do you prevent getting Trike?

The use of condoms and dams plus practicing good hygiene, like hand washing and cleaning sex toys, greatly decreases the risk of getting Trike from an infected partner.

How do you find out if you have Trike?

Trike infections in women are usually diagnosed by taking a vaginal swab. Occasionally Trike infections may be noted on a pap test but this is not as reliable as a swab test. In men, it’s most often detected by a urine test but if the man has discharge from the penis then a swab should be taken.

How do you get treated for Trike?

Trike can be easily treated with one specific antibiotic. The two most commonly prescribed medicines are Metronidazole and Tinidazole. Both of these medications can cause nausea and vomiting; so it’s best to take them with food and to avoid alcohol for two days to reduce these side effects. If the symptoms of Trike return, you may need to be tested and treated again.

Also check the related topics:  

Types of STI’s Sex & Sexual Health

Factsheet provided by Youth Projects


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