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How can I protect myself from getting trichomoniasis?

Angela Lowery
Family Medicine

As with all other sexually transmitted infections, the only way to prevent getting trichomoniasis or any other sexually transmitted infection is by not having sex. There are other steps you can take to protect yourself; practice safe sex by using a condom every time you have sex. Males should use dental dams or heavy plastic when performing oral sex. If your partner is a male you should use condoms when performing oral sex. Limit your number of partners. Have sex with only one person.

If you have been diagnosed with trichomoniasis, notify all recent sexual partners immediately. You should refrain from sex until you have completed all medications and have been cleared by your doctor. If you suspect you have a trichomoniasis or any other sexually transmitted infection, notify your healthcare provider immediately.

 

Deborah Davis
OBGYN (Obstetrics & Gynecology)
There are several ways to prevent the spread of Trichomoniasis.  Abstinence remains the definite way to avoid the disease, but if you are sexually active, it is advisable to have one faithful uninfected partner.  Condom use also proves very important for all types of sex.  Couples should develop an understanding between one another about the importance of when to use condoms.  This avoids any misunderstandings where one partner wants the protection from the disease and the other may not feel concerned. People should get regular checkups and be tested for sexually transmitted diseases.

You can take steps to lower your risk of getting trichomoniasis and other STIs. The following steps work best when used together:

Don't have sex. The surest way to lower risk of trichomoniasis or any STI is to practice abstinence, which means not having vaginal, oral, or anal sex. Keep in mind that trichomoniasis can be spread through vulva-to-vulva contact.Be faithful. Having sex with one uninfected partner who only has sex with you will keep you safe from trichomoniasis and other STIs. Both you and your partner must be faithful all the time to avoid exposure. This means that you only have sex with each other and no one else. The fewer sex partners you have, the lower your risk of being exposed to an STI.Use condoms correctly and every time you have sex. Use condoms for all types of sexual contact, even if penetration does not occur. Use a condom from the very beginning to the very end of each sex act, and with every partner. For vaginal sex, use a latex male condom or a female polyurethane condom. For anal sex, use a latex male condom. For oral sex, use a dental dam.Know that some birth control methods — and other methods — don't protect against STIs. Birth control methods including the pill, shots, implants, IUD, diaphragm, and spermicides, don't protect against STIs. If you use one of these methods, make sure to also use a condom with every sex act. Washing genitals, passing urine, and douching after sex will not keep you from getting an STI.Talk with your sex partner(s) about using condoms before having sex. Set the ground rules so you can avoid misunderstandings in a moment of passion. Be clear that you will not have any type of sex, any time, without using a condom. Remember, it's your body!Get tested for STIs. If either you or your partner has had other sexual partners in the past, get tested for STIs before becoming sexually active.Have regular checkups and pelvic exams even if you're healthy. During the checkup, your doctor will ask you a lot of questions about your lifestyle, including your sex life. Answering honestly is the only way your doctor is sure to give you the care you need.

The answer is based on source information from the National Women's Health Information Center.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.