Testing for Trichomoniasis FAQ About Trichomoniasis Testing If you suspect you might have trichomoniasis, also called trich, you’re far from alone—it’s the most common non-viral sexually transmitted infection worldwide. With about 156 million new cases of trich in 2020 alone, this STI affects both men and women globally. Females tend to contract trich more often than males, but neither sex tends to show symptoms. Unfortunately, that means most infected people remain completely unaware that they have it. It’s important to schedule testing for trichomoniasis if you suspect exposure or you experience trichomoniasis symptoms, such as: An unusual discharge A burning sensation during urination Discomfort or pain during sexual intercourse How long does trichomoniasis last? Without treatment, the infection can linger for months or even years. The sooner you go for a trich test, the quicker you’ll feel better and reclaim your sexual health. Read on for what to know about your trichomoniasis testing options. Understanding the Different Types of Trichomoniasis Tests You have several options at your disposal for trich testing. Your primary care provider can help you pick the right one from the four common tests for trichomoniasis below. Wet-mount: Quick and Practical Wet-mount microscopy is the most common trichomoniasis test for women. During the test, your medical provider will take a sample of vaginal fluid to examine under a microscope. The test looks for signs of the trichomoniasis parasite, which will mean an instant confirmation that you have the infection. If the test diagnoses you with trichomoniasis, you won’t need any further testing. Nucleic Acid Amplification: The Gold Standard If you get a false negative from the above test or your results are inconclusive, your provider may want to perform a different test. One of the most reliable diagnostic tools for trichomoniasis is nucleic acid amplification testing (NAAT). It’s more complicated than wet-mount microscopy but provides highly accurate results in both men and women. For this test, a provider will collect vaginal fluid (or a urine sample if you’re a male). Your provider will then examine the sample under ultraviolet light to look for the parasite’s genetic material, called RNA. If the test results reveal this RNA, the provider will diagnose you with trich. Culture Test: Accurate But Slow If you receive a negative result on a NAAT test, but your provider would like to rule out whether or not you have trich, they may also request a culture test. Your provider will take a vaginal fluid or urine sample from you and send it to a lab for testing. This culture test is extremely accurate, but the downside is that it takes longer than some other tests (you may need to wait three to seven days for results). Rapid Antigen: Extra Fast Results The final option for trichomoniasis testing for females would be the rapid antigen testing model, which looks for proteins from the parasite. If the test detects these antigens, your provider will diagnose you with trich. Rapid antigen tests are slightly less accurate than NAAT tests, but they’re very quick. You can expect the results to be ready in a mere 15 minutes, which is why your provider will recommend a rapid antigen test if they need results from you right away. Males cannot use a rapid antigen test because it tests for the parasite in vaginal fluid. When Should You Get Tested for Trichomoniasis? You should schedule testing for trichomoniasis if you suspect you’ve had sexual contact with someone who carries the parasite. However, many carriers are asymptomatic, which means they may have no idea they’re infected unless they order a rapid STD test. Notably, people who are asymptomatic can still pass on the parasite to others. If you do get symptoms, they usually develop between 5 and 28 days post-infection and may come and go. Both men and women may experience itching, burning, soreness, and redness in and around the genitals, and pain when urinating. Females may have vaginal inflammation or discharge with a fishy smell, which mimics bacterial vaginosis. If you notice this symptom, it’s best to order a 10-panel STD test so you can be sure which infection you have. Symptoms specific to men include unusual discharge from the penis and pain when ejaculating. If you spot any of the above symptoms, play it safe and test. You may not have the parasite, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. Don’t Wait To See a Doctor About Trichomoniasis if You’re in a High-Risk Category Trich doesn’t go away without treatment. Untreated infections of trichomoniasis can cause the following issues: An increased chance of contracting other STDs Premature birth (women giving birth too early) Low birth weight for babies Prostate infections in men As you can see, it's particularly important to schedule testing for trichomoniasis and other STDs if you’re pregnant. If you have trich and don’t know it, you could put your child at risk by giving birth too early or affecting the baby’s growth milestones. Preterm babies are at risk for infections, liver problems, an underdeveloped brain and lungs, and neurological problems, such as cerebral palsy. If you fall into one of the following high-risk categories or are pregnant, the experts recommend that you undergo testing for trich once a year: People who are non-monogamous and do not use condoms, especially if they are part of a group that shares partners Men who have sex with men People who use mood-altering drugs, which can increase risky sexual behaviors Commercial sex workers Trichomoniasis Treatment Will Require Post-Treatment Monitoring If you test positive for trich, your doctor will likely want you to start treatment immediately. However, the treatment will differ depending on whether you are male or female. Men will usually take a single large dose (two grams) of metronidazole, an antibiotic. For women, doctors usually prescribe 500 milligrams of metronidazole, which they should take twice daily for seven days. Some doctors may also prescribe a single two-gram dose of tinidazole for both men and women, depending on the situation. Tinidazole stops the growth of some bacteria and parasites. Both treatment and monitoring are important to ensure your body has cleared the trich infection. After you finish treatment, your primary care provider may perform a genital examination to verify that your symptoms have gone away. They will also likely ask you to take another trichomoniasis test to check that your body has completely eliminated the parasite. If you continue to test positive for trich, you may have to take another course of medication. You may also test positive if you were re-exposed to the parasite or you didn’t finish taking all your medication. Navigating the Costs and Locations of Trichomoniasis Testing So, you’ve decided that you need to undergo testing for trichomoniasis, but now you’re wondering where to find an accurate (and discreet) test site. Thankfully, you have quite a few locations you can visit for reliable trichomoniasis detection, with some locations more convenient or affordable than others. Hospitals A hospital can test you for trich, but this is likely the most expensive option. You may also have to wait for several hours to see a doctor in a crowded emergency room. Trich may be uncomfortable, but it’s not a life-threatening emergency. Urgent Care Clinics Urgent care clinics, as well as your local doctor’s office, should offer tests for trichomoniasis. Going to an urgent care clinic might be appealing if you’re embarrassed to ask your usual doctor for a test. However, remember that there’s no shame in taking care of your sexual health. Trich is extremely common, and your doctor’s mission is to help you feel better. Your primary care provider also knows your medical history, which gives them a fuller picture of your overall health. Sexual Health Clinics A sexual health clinic can be another great option for trich testing. Many clinics price their services on a sliding scale, so they’ll charge what you can afford to pay. Some offer completely free testing to low-income people. At-home STD Tests If privacy and convenience are important to you, consider an at-home STD test. These tests allow you to collect your own sample from the privacy of your home, send the sample for laboratory testing, and get your results in a few days. However, you must collect a proper sample to avoid inaccurate results. Trichomoniasis Test: The Cost Factor How much will you pay for trichomoniasis testing? That depends on where you test and whether you have insurance. Some insurance plans cover the cost of STD testing based on your age and risk group. At-home tests are the cheapest option, with a doctor’s exam about three times more. STD tests at the hospital are the more expensive option and often the most inconvenient. Order Discreet Trichomoniasis Testing Now If you want to know for sure, it’s a good idea to test for STDs immediately. Trich doesn’t always cause symptoms, so you could have the parasite that puts you at risk of developing other health problems or spreading the infection to your sexual partners. With same-day STD testing, a test for trichomoniasis doesn’t have to involve anyone else. Order a test from home and head to a lab near you for testing. You’ll have your results in a day, and it’s private. Order testing for trichomoniasis now. Alternatively, call Rapid STD Testing at (866) 872-1888 today to learn more!