At a Glance
Why Get Tested?
To diagnose an infection with Trichomonas vaginalis, a microscopic, single cell (protozoan) parasite that is usually transmitted sexually, causing vaginal infections in women and urethritis and prostatitis in men.
When to Get Tested?
When a woman shows symptoms of infection, such as a strong-smelling vaginal discharge, genital itching, and/or pain during urination, or if a man has the frequent urge to urinate and/or a discharge from the urethra.
In women, a swab of vaginal or cervical secretions; a sample may be obtained from the same thin-layer collection vial used for a Pap smear; in men, a urethral swab is required. Other sources may include urine or prostatic fluid.
Frequency of testing: as symptoms warrant or when sexual partners test positive.
The Test Sample
What is being tested?
The test is looking for infection by Trichomonas vaginalis, a sexually transmitted, microscopic parasite that causes vaginal infections in women and urethritis in some men.
How is the sample collected for testing?
In women, a swab of secretions is collected from the vagina. In men, a swab is inserted into the urethra of the penis. Alternatively, the first portion of urine is collected for testing.
Is any test preparation needed to ensure the quality of the sample?
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NOTE: This article is based on research that utilizes the sources cited here as well as the collective experience of the Lab Tests Online Editorial Review Board. This article is periodically reviewed by the Editorial Board and may be updated as a result of the review. Any new sources cited will be added to the list and distinguished from the original sources used.