How does the prevalence of trichomoniasis vary between males and females?

Updated: Jan 02, 2020
  • Author: Darvin Scott Smith, MD, MSc, DTM&H; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Answer

Although both women and men can be asymptomatic or symptomatic carriers of T vaginalis, trichomoniasis in men tends to be less clinically apparent and of shorter duration. In addition, multiple studies have found that T vaginalis infection is less prevalent in men than in women. [40, 42, 43] The NHANES 2001-2004 study conducted on a nationally representative sample of women aged 14-49 years found that 85% of women found to have trichomoniasis reported no symptoms. [38]

The reported incidence of trichomoniasis among men in various populations ranges from 0.8%-17%. [40, 42] This incidence may be underestimated, depending on the method of detection and the site of specimen collection. The use of multiple sites in the genitourinary tract (urine, urethral swab, and semen) in male patients has been shown to increase sensitivity. [44] In one study, T vaginalis was detected in 72% of male sexual partners of women with trichomoniasis. [45] Of these, 77% were asymptomatic.


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