Trichomoniasis

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 completed 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


Most common questions

What is mononucleosis?

Mononucleosis (also called mono) is an infection usually caused by the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). It’s sometimes caused by another virus called cytomegalovirus (CMV). EBV and CMV are part of the herpes virus family. Mono is most common in teenagers and young adults, but anyone can get it. Mono is called the “kissing disease” because it’s usually passed from one person to another through saliva. In addition to kissing, it can also be passed through sneezing, coughing or sharing pillows, drinks, straws, and toothbrushes.

You can have mono without having any symptoms. But even if you don’t get sick, you can still pass it to others. Symptoms can include:

  • Achy muscles
  • Belly pain
  • Fatigue (feeling tired all the time)
  • Fever
  • Sore throat
  • Swollen glands in your neck

If your symptoms don’t go away or get worse, tell your health care provider. He’ll most likely do a physical exam and test your blood to find out for sure if you have mono.

There’s no vaccine to prevent mono. There’s also no specific treatment. The best care is to take it easy and get as much rest as you can. It may take a few weeks before you fully recover.

Can Rh factor affect my baby?

The Rh factor may be a problem if mom is Rh-negative but dad is Rh-positive. If dad is Rh-negative, there is no risk.

If your baby gets her Rh-positive factor from dad, your body may believe that your baby's red blood cells are foreign elements attacking you. Your body may make antibodies to fight them. This is called sensitization.

If you're Rh-negative, you can get shots of Rh immune globulin (RhIg) to stop your body from attacking your baby. It's best to get these shots at 28 weeks of pregnancy and again within 72 hours of giving birth if a blood test shows that your baby is Rh-positive. You won't need anymore shots after giving birth if your baby is Rh-negative. You should also get a shot after certain pregnancy exams like an amniocentesis, a chorionic villus sampling or an external cephalic version (when your provider tries to turn a breech-position baby head down before labor). You'll also want to get the shot if you have a miscarriage, an ectopic pregnancy or suffer abdominal trauma.

I had a miscarriage. How long should I wait to try again?

Before getting pregnant again, it's important that you are ready both physically and emotionally. If you don't need tests or treatments to discover the cause of the miscarriage, it's usually OK for you to become pregnant after one normal menstrual cycle. However, it may take longer for you to feel emotionally ready to be pregnant again. Everyone responds differently to a miscarriage. Only you will know when you are ready to try to get pregnant again.

Are gallstones common during pregnancy?

Not common, but they do happen. Elevated hormones during pregnancy can cause the gallbladder to function more slowly, less efficiently. The gallbladder stores and releases bile, a substance produced in the liver. Bile helps digest fat. When bile sits in the gallbladder for too long, hard, solid nuggets called gallstones can form. The stones can block the flow of bile, causing indigestion and sometimes serious pain. Staying at a healthy weight during pregnancy can help lower your risk of gallstones. Exercise and eating foods that are low in fat and high in fiber, like veggies, fruits and whole grains, can help, too. Symptoms of gallstones include nausea, vomiting and intense, continuous abdominal pain. Treatment during pregnancy may include surgery to remove the gallbladder. Gallstones in the third trimester can be managed with a strict meal plan and pain medication, followed by surgery several weeks after delivery.

©2013 March of Dimes Foundation. The March of Dimes is a non-profit organization recognized as tax-exempt under Internal Revenue Code section 501(c)(3).