Trichomonads are parasites that are often transmitted through sexual contact. Trichomoniasis can be cured with antiparasitic drugs.

Pathogen and transmission

Trichomonads are parasites that are often transmitted through sexual contact. Other transmission routes are rare but may include the parasites reaching the vagina via the bladder or rectum or being passed on indirectly, facilitated by a moist and alkaline environment. This can very rarely occur, for example, through the shared use of damp fabrics (towels) or through unchlorinated bathwater. Transmission from the mother to the newborn child is also possible.

Clinical picture

The infection often proceeds asymptomatically. Fifty percent of women experience no symptoms, and in men the infection generally progresses without any signs of disease. If symptoms do appear, they manifest as itching, a burning sensation during urination and a sweetly malodorous discharge. An untreated infection can lead to sterility in both men and women.

Frequency and distribution

Trichomoniasis is the most frequent STI, with 5 million new cases per year worldwide. Young people, both men and women, are particularly affected. Trichomoniasis can be cured with antiparasitic drugs.


Condoms and other safer sex measures reduce the risk of getting infected with Trichomonads. Therefore:  

1. Vaginal and anal sex with a condom
2. And because everybody loves different things: do the personalised safer sex check at

But an infection is nevertheless possible, and it’s important to detect it early. Once an infection is diagnosed, all sexual partners must be examined and, if necessary, treated.

People with changing or multiple simultaneous sexual partners should talk to their doctor or another specialist about HIV and other sexually transmitted infections and get advice on whether tests may be necessary.

Further Information

National Programme for HIV and Other Sexually Transmitted Infections (NPHS)

The NPHS aims to reduce the number of new infections with HIV and other STIs and to avoid consequences with an adverse effect on health. Information on the programme can be found here.

Last modification 17.08.2018

Top of page


Federal Office of Public Health FOPH
Division Communicable diseases
Schwarzenburgstrasse 157
3003 Berne
Tel. +41 58 463 87 06

Print contact