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By: RSC Editorial Team

January 1, 2024

Can Trichomoniasis Cause Miscarriage in Early Pregnancy?

Trichomoniasis is a common sexually transmitted infection affecting around 2.6 million Americans, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Most people with trich experience common STI symptoms like vaginal irritation and discharge, but pregnant women are at risk of more concerning effects. For example, many people worry about questions such as, “Can trichomoniasis cause miscarriage in early pregnancy?”

Trichomoniasis comes with low-birth-weight complications, pre-term birth risks, and more. Luckily, pregnant women have access to prevention methods and treatment options to mitigate risks. Below, our team from Rapid STD Testing discusses everything you need to know about whether or not trichomoniasis causes miscarriage concerns in early pregnancy. 

Understanding Trichomoniasis: Risks and Impacts During Pregnancy

Trichomoniasis is a sexually transmitted infection caused by a microscopic parasite. Most men with trich experience no symptoms, while women generally experience the following: 

  • Foul-smelling vaginal discharge
  • Painful urination
  • Vaginal discomfort or pain

Usually, basic trichomoniasis can be treated with one large antibiotic dose with minimal risks involved. Unfortunately, trichomoniasis in pregnancy involves additional complications. 

Trichomoniasis can be relatively common in pregnant women, considering its prevalence in young women. But what are the potential risks of untreated trichomoniasis for a pregnant woman and her baby?

Trich infections during pregnancy are often associated with higher risks of pre-term births, low-birth-weight babies of less than 5.5 pounds at birth, and pre-labor rupture of the membranes (PROM) before 37 weeks, often requiring delivery. In many cases, trich requires early deliveries later on in the pregnancy because of these complications. 

In rare cases, the baby can contract trichomoniasis during delivery if the mother still has an active infection. If this occurs, the baby will not need treatment unless it displays symptoms. 

“Can trichomoniasis cause miscarriage in early pregnancy?” is a question many expectant mothers worry about. That said, trichomoniasis is not generally associated with miscarriages. Of course, risks can still arise during any pregnancy and delivery, though the infection should not directly cause a miscarriage. Trichomoniasis can increase the risks of early deliveries, which introduces more dangers during the delivery, but that does not equate to a miscarriage.

So, how can pregnant women protect themselves from contracting trichomoniasis?

To avoid potential risks during pregnancy, expecting mothers should practice infectious disease prevention. We recommend practicing safe sexual health during pregnancy, such as using the barrier method, while also following basic antenatal care and getting tested regularly. 

Understanding trichomoniasis symptoms and getting tested on a regular basis can help you seek treatment as soon as possible before the infection worsens. You can order same-day STD testing from Rapid STD Testing for fast and discreet results. Simply order your panel online, visit a testing center near you, then receive your results in one to two days. 

Diagnosing and Treating Trichomoniasis in Expectant Mothers

Women can experience all sorts of strange symptoms during pregnancy. Differentiating between common pregnancy effects and STI symptoms can help you get the treatment you need to prevent a high-risk delivery. If you notice the following symptoms, you should order a rapid STD test or visit your doctor:

  • Greenish, yellowish, or frothy discharge
  • Foul-smelling discharge
  • Pain while urinating
  • Pain during intercourse
  • Redness, irritation, or itchiness around the vulva or vagina
  • Spotting after intercourse
  • Potential discomfort in the lower abdomen

If you think you may have trich, your provider will collect a sample using vaginal discharge. Your provider may be able to confirm the presence of the microscopic parasite using a microscope, or they may send it to a lab for further testing. 

Your OB-GYN appointments when pregnant do not involve regular trich testing, so you must see your provider or order tests if you notice any symptoms. Your provider will only test you if you display the common symptoms of the infection. 

If your test results come back positive, you’ll move on to the treatment phase. STI treatment during pregnancy typically presents concerns for the fetus, but luckily, expecting mothers with trichomoniasis have an effective and safe medication option. 

The most common course of action for treating trich during pregnancy is oral metronidazole, an antibiotic deemed relatively safe during pregnancy. Metronidazole can clear the infection while reducing instances of pre-term birth. The antibiotic is not known to cause birth defects, low birth weights, stillbirths, or pre-term deliveries in healthy patients.

Your partner also needs to get treated for trichomoniasis to prevent reinfection, even if they display no symptoms. You should both complete your recommended antibiotic courses, then wait a full week to ensure that the infection has cleared before returning to any sexual activities.

You can continue visiting your maternal-fetal medicine doctor to discuss any potential risks that may still exist in your pregnancy. Risks may still remain, depending on how early you were infected, how long the infection lasted, and more. Your provider can conduct more thorough exams on the fetus to help you mitigate risks and prepare for delivery. 

One of the top reasons trich persists is from partner reinfections. Learn more about why trichomoniasis won’t go away with our Rapid STD Testing resources.

Trichomoniasis: Beyond the Physical Health Implications

So, can trichomoniasis cause miscarriage in early pregnancy? No, but it can create numerous concerns beyond physical health complications. The well-known psychological impact of STIs only amplifies when pregnant.

To start, the expecting mother may carry a level of guilt regarding the risks exposed to their unborn child. STI-positive pregnant women often face increased risks of mental health vulnerabilities, such as depression, largely because of the potential clinical outcomes. 

The diagnosis could also create a strain on your partnership. You want to be able to lean on your partner during pregnancy, but telling them about your diagnosis can add increased stress and conflict to the relationship. Because of the stigma around STIs, many are quick to blame one another for contracting infections despite their wide prevalence. 

Pregnant women with trich may also feel shame discussing their diagnosis with friends and family members. The lack of education and awareness on the topic can cause pregnant women to feel judged for contracting an infection. This isolation can create additional mental health concerns, especially during the already challenging period of pregnancy. 

If you’re struggling with a trichomoniasis diagnosis during pregnancy, we recommend the following:

  • Find local support groups: Connecting with people in a similar situation can help you feel less isolated. You can join in-person or virtual support groups with other pregnant mothers with STIs. 
  • Consult your provider for resources: Educational resources can help you understand your situation better so you can explain it to friends or family members who have misconceptions about the topic. 
  • Speak with your partner: You want to find the right time to speak with your partner about your diagnosis. Be prepared with educational materials so you can answer any questions they have. 

When treated promptly, you and your baby can be virtually unaffected by trichomoniasis. In some cases, though, trichomoniasis can cause delivery complications that result in long-term effects for both you and your child. For example, a pre-term birth could result in vision or hearing problems for your baby.

We recommend reviewing all of the potential complications with your provider so you know what to expect. 

Get Tested Today

So, can trichomoniasis cause miscarriage in early pregnancy? No, but it can cause complications like pre-term births, low birth weights, and pre-labor ruptures requiring early deliveries. If you think you have trich, you should get tested immediately so you can begin prompt treatment to mitigate risks.

Order a 10-panel STD test today from Rapid STD Testing, visit a local screening center, or call our team at (866) 872-1888 with any questions.


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By: RSC Editorial Team
January 1, 2024

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