There are different ways of testing for trichomonas.
A doctor or nurse may collect a sample of cells from the vagina during an internal examination.
You may be asked to use a swab to collect cells from inside your vagina.
A doctor or nurse may use a swab to collect a sample of cells from the entrance to the urethra.
A swab looks a bit like a cotton bud, but is smaller and rounded. It sometimes has a small plastic loop on the end rather than a cotton tip. It is wiped over the parts of the body that could be infected and easily picks up samples of discharge and cells. This only takes a few seconds and is not painful, though it may be uncomfortable for a moment.
Sometimes it may be possible for a specimen to be looked at under the microscope immediately and for you to get the test result straight away. Otherwise, you may have to wait up to 10 days for the result.
Sometimes trichomonas will show up during a routine cervical screening test. If this happens you will be offered a test for trichomonas to confirm you have the infection. This is because the trichomonas result from a cervical screening test is not reliable. If you have had a cervical screening test it does not mean that you have been tested for trichomonas.
Routine blood tests do not detect infections such as trichomonas. If you are not sure whether you have been tested for trichomonas, just ask.