How is trichomoniasis (trich) managed or treated?

Without treatment, trich can last for months or even years. It doesn’t go away on its own. The entire time you’re infected, you can give the STD to your sexual partners.

Oral anti-infective medications kill trich. Your healthcare provider may prescribe metronidazole (Flagyl®) or tinidazole (Tindamax®). It’s important to keep the following points in mind while undergoing treatment:

  • A single medication dose cures up to 95% of infected women. Men and women may need to take the medication for five to seven days.
  • You and your sexual partners must be treated for trich or you will continue to pass the infection back and forth.
  • You shouldn’t have sex for one week after finishing the medication to give the drug time to kill off the infection and for symptoms to clear up. Having sex too soon can lead to reinfection.
  • You should see your healthcare provider in three months to ensure you’re no longer infected.

What are medication side effects?

You shouldn’t drink alcohol while taking metronidazole or tinidazole. The combination can cause severe nausea and vomiting and a rapid heart rate. The medications may also cause these side effects:

Can I get trichomoniasis (trich) more than once?

It’s possible to get trich multiple times. Approximately one in five people who are treated for trich become infected again within three months. To prevent reinfection, you and your sexual partners should take anti-infective medications at the same time. After finishing treatment, you should wait a week before having sex to give the medication time to work and for symptoms to go away.

What are the complications of trichomoniasis (trich)?

Untreated trich increases your risk of becoming infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) if you’re exposed to the virus. Untreated HIV can lead to AIDS. Women who have trich and HIV are more likely to pass both diseases on to their partners. For this reason, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that HIV-positive women get tested for trich at least once a year.

How does trichomoniasis (trich) affect pregnancy?

If you become infected with trich while pregnant or breastfeeding, it’s generally safe to take anti-infective medication. Left untreated, trich increases your risk of:

  • Premature labor (childbirth before the 37th week of pregnancy).
  • Low birth weight (newborns who weigh less than 5 pounds, 8 ounces).

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 06/05/2020.

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