Understanding Trichomoniasis -- Diagnosis and Treatment

Medically Reviewed by Traci C. Johnson, MD on January 16, 2020

How Do I Know If I Have Trichomoniasis?

Your doctor may want to examine your vaginal or urethral discharge under a microscope or test your urine. Trichomoniasis occasionally shows up on Pap tests in women with no symptoms. Your safest course is to get tested if you think you may have been exposed to the parasite.

What Are the Treatments for Trichomoniasis?

Nine out of 10 people with trichomoniasis are cured with a single course of antibiotics. Stubborn cases may require larger doses administered over longer periods of time. It is important that sex partners also be treated because infection can be passed back. Partners should also avoid intercourse until one week after the last dose of antibiotic.


The drug most commonly used to fight trichomoniasis is metronidazole (Flagyl), which comes in tablet form taken by mouth and gel form for vaginal use. If you take Flagyl orally, you may experience side effects such as nausea, vomiting, or a metallic aftertaste. You can minimize discomfort by taking the drug during or immediately after a meal. Avoid drinking alcohol within 24 hours of taking the medicine. If you do, you may experience severe abdominal pain and vomiting


Your partner should also be treated to reduce risk of reinfection. Get retested after three months to insure you are clear of the infection. 



How Can I Prevent Trichomoniasis?

Here are ways to prevent trichomoniasis:

  • Use a latex condom when having sex
  • Have a monogamous partner who is not infected
  • Abstain from sexual activity
WebMD Medical Reference


American Cancer Society.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
National Library of Medicine: "Trichomoniasis."

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