Welcome to the OutUK series looking at gay men and their health brought to you in association with the NHS website.
Each week we'll tackle a different topic in our A to Z of Gay Health. We'll have features and advice on everything from relationships, sexual health, mental and physical conditions and how to stay fit. You can follow any of links provided below for more information direct from the NHS website, or view any of our Previous A to Z Features.
You should also know that OutUK has produced a special report about: Coronavirus Covid-19.

This Week - T : Trichomoniasis (STI)

Trichomoniasis is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) caused by a parasite called Trichomonas vaginalis.

Trichomoniasis in men can cause:

  • pain when peeing or during ejaculation
  • needing to pee more frequently than usual
  • thin, white discharge from the penis
  • soreness, swelling and redness around the head of the penis or foreskin

When to get medical advice

See a GP or go to your local sexual health clinic (sometimes called a GUM clinic) if you develop any of the symptoms of trichomoniasis or you think you may be infected.

Trichomoniasis can usually be diagnosed after an examination of the genitals and a laboratory test carried out on a swab taken from the penis.

If the test shows you have trichomoniasis, it's important that your current sexual partner and any other recent partners are also tested and treated.

How do you get trichomoniasis?

Trichomoniasis is caused by a parasite called Trichomonas vaginalis.

Symptoms

In men, the infection most commonly affects the urethra, but the head of the penis or prostate gland - a gland near the bladder that helps produce semen - can become infected in some cases.

The parasite is usually spread by having sex without using a condom.

It could also be spread by sharing sex toys if you do not wash them or cover them with a new condom before use.

You do not have to have many sexual partners to catch trichomoniasis. Anyone who's sexually active can catch it and pass it on.

Trichomoniasis is not thought to be passed on through oral or anal sex.

You also cannot pass on trichomoniasis through:

  • kissing or hugging
  • sharing cups, plates or cutlery
  • toilet seats

The best way to prevent trichomoniasis is to have safe sex. This means always using a condom when having sex, covering any sex toys you use with a condom, and washing sex toys after use.

Treating trichomoniasis

Trichomoniasis is unlikely to go away without treatment, but it can be effectively treated with antibiotics.

Most men are treated with an antibiotic called metronidazole, which is usually taken twice a day for 5 to 7 days.

It's important to complete the whole course of antibiotics and avoid having sex until the infection clears up to prevent reinfection.

Your current sexual partner and any other recent partners should also be treated.

We'll have more information and advice next week on another topic in our A to Z of Gay Health. We have covered many subjects in this series and you can catch up with all of our Previous A to Z Features.

If you want to find out more about this week's subject you can visit the Original article on the NHS website. If you are worried by any aspect of your health make sure you go and see your doctor or book an appointment at your local clinic.

Photos: LightFieldStudios and one of VladOrlov, Stockcube, darak77, ajr_images or rawpixel.com.

 

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