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Is trichomoniasis only transferred sexually? Is there any way either gender can develop the infection on their own? Can it lay dormant for years? I'm in a long term relationship, 5 yrs in and I developed trich. He is the only partner I've had since the day we met.

I’ve read that in rare cases it can be transmitted by someone’s wet towel or by outdoor toilet seats. Is there ANY truth to that or am I looking at an unfaithful partner? Would really appreciate the most accurate answer you can give.


Trichomoniasis is virtually always sexually acquired. Even though there is some evidence that trich may survive on items like towels, cases of transmission through household items has not been well documented.

Trichomoiasis doesn’t “lay dormant.” Trich will be present until it is treated, though symptoms can vary. So if you’ve been tested before and had negative results, this would be a new infection. If you’ve not been tested for trich before, this would be an old infection which hasn’t been treated. Trich testing is done by swabbing the vagina, not through a urine or blood test. So if you’ve never had a vaginal swab done, this could be a past infection that was never treated.

I hope this information helps you decide how to proceed with this conversation with your partner. It seems that either this is a new infection from this partner, or an old infection that was never treated. If you use sex toys together, there are ways to reduce the risk from enjoying toys. But it’s extremely unlikely that a towel or toilet seat was the method of transmission.

People with penises can get trich and transmit trich to other people. Some people with penises can clear the infection on their own. But people with penises can’t get tested, as the test is a vaginal swab test. So when someone gets treated for trich, we recommend that their partner with a penis also get treated to avoid either person from being re-infected.