Exams and Tests
Trichomoniasis (trich) is diagnosed by:
- Your medical history, which will include questions about your sexual history and practices.
- A physical exam.
- For women, this will include a visual exam of the genitals, vagina, or cervix to detect patchy red spots that are caused by trich. Any vaginal discharge will be assessed for color, odor, and texture. A sample of discharge is taken for a wet mount test.
- For men, this will include a visual exam of the penis and a sample of discharge from the urethra.
- Tests to identify the trich organism.
- The most common test in women is a wet mount, a microscopic evaluation of fluid from the vagina. This test identifies trich 60% to 70% of the time.7
- Other tests available but less commonly used include:
- Culture. A culture identifies trich over 90% of the time and is especially useful for men.
- Antigen detection test (immunochromatographic strip test) that detects trich over 83% of the time.8
- DNA probe test, which detects genetic material (DNA) of the trich parasite.
People can get other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) such as gonorrhea or syphilis at the same time they get a trich infection. If one STD is diagnosed, you will likely be tested for other STDs so that all infections can be treated at the same time.
In women, the trich parasite may also be identified by a routine Pap test done as part of a regular gynecologic exam. Expert opinions vary on the accuracy of a Pap test for diagnosing trich. But if a Pap test shows trich, your doctor will probably talk to you about treatment or maybe other tests.