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Can You Catch Trichomoniasis if Nobody Cheated?

Trichomoniasis (sometimes referred to as Trich) is a lesser known STI but is no less common than the likes of chlamydia or gonorrhoea. In fact, it’s the most common non-viral STI in the world. However, if you’re in a stable relationship with someone and one of you catches trichomoniasis, you may have one or two questions to ask. In this blog, we look at whether it is possible to catch Trich if nobody cheated.

What is Trichomoniasis?

Trichomoniasis is a sexually transmitted infection caused by the parasite Trichomonas Vaginalis, usually passed on through sex. The infection mainly affects the urethra in both men and women, but can also infect the vagina, penis and prostate gland. Trichomoniasis can sometimes be tricky to diagnose as symptoms usually only present in around 50% of cases, and are fairly similar to those of other STIs and genital concerns.

Can You Catch Trichomoniasis if Nobody Cheated?

It can be easy to jump to conclusions if you learn that your partner has an STI that wasn’t there before, but sometimes it might be best to hear them out before putting them out. Trichomoniasis can only be spread through sexual contact, but it’s also possible for it to go undetected for long periods of time.

How Trichomoniasis is Transmitted

Trichomoniasis is most commonly spread through unprotected sex and the sharing of sex toys. It is not thought the be passed on through oral or anal sex, and it is unlikely that you or your partner will contract Trichomoniasis outside of sexual activity.

Despite the common myths, it is very unlikely that you will contract Trichomoniasis via toilet seats, public swimming pools or shared baths, food and drink, or through sharing cutlery.

How Trichomoniasis is Transmitted:

  • Penetrative sex
  • Male-to-female genital contact, even without ejaculation
  • Vagina-to-vagina sex
  • Use of infected sex toys

How Trichomoniasis is not Transmitted:

  • Sharing food and drink
  • Sharing cutlery
  • Public toilets
  • Public swimming pools
  • Sharing items such as clothing or towels
  • It is unlikely that you will catch Trichomoniasis trough oral or anal sex

My Partner Has Trich – Did they Cheat?

Whilst it can be easy to jump to conclusions, bear in mind that 50% of Trichomoniasis cases don’t present with symptoms. This means that your partner’s infection could have been caught from a previous partner. In some cases, symptoms don’t present for months after the initial infection, therefore they could have been infected the entire time you’ve been together.

Regardless of if your partner has cheated or not, it is vital that you are also tested for the disease to reduce the risk of further transmission and to avoid any possible medical complications. Check out Your Sexual Health’s range of STI tests that can be taken in-clinic or at home.


Trichomoniasis often goes undetected as almost half of infected people will be asymptomatic, and those that do develop symptoms may mistake them for something else, including other STIs, cystitis and urinary tract infections.

Common symptoms of Trichomoniasis in men and women include:

Symptoms of Trichomoniasis in Women

  • Abnormal or excessive vagnial discharge. This could be thin, thick or frothy in texture, and yellow/green in colour
  • Soreness, swelling and itching around the vagina
  • Pain or discomfort when having sex
  • Pain or burning sensation when you pee

Symptoms of Trichomoniasis in Men

  • Pain when ejaculating
  • Pain or burning sensation when you pee
  • Needing to pee more often
  • Discharge from the penis (thin and white in nature)
  • Soreness, swelling and redness around the penis

Testing for Trichomoniasis

It is vitally important to be tested for STIs regularly to ensure your own sexual health, and that of your partner(s). Your Sexual Health offers a range of STI tests, including profile testing for multiple conditions, and individual tests for single conditions. These can be done at a clinic across the country, or in the privacy of your own home.

Treatment for Trichomoniasis

It is unlikely that Trichomoniasis will go away without treatment. Most people will be prescribed a course of antibiotics to be taken for about a week. It is important to abstain from sexual activities during this time, and to inform any sexual partners that may have contracted the infection. If you take the medication correctly, and follow professional advice, the infection should clear up fairly quickly.

So, can you catch Trich if nobody cheated? Yes. You or your partner may have unknowingly caught the infection from a previous relationship, especially if you have only been together for a few months. Sometimes symptoms can take a little while to present, if at all.

However, Trichomoniasis is most commonly spread through genital contact, so it might be time to have a talk with your partner if things don’t add up.

Regardless, it is incredibly important that all parties (including previous partners) are tested for Trichomoniasis to reduce the risk of further transmission. Check out our website for a range of at-home and in-clinic testing.