What's the Treatment for Trichomoniasis?

It’s never easy to find out you have an STD, but with trichomoniasis, there is a bright side: It’s one of the most curable ones. Typically, you’d just have to take one dose consisting of several tablets. If you’re like most people, you’re cured in about a week.

If you or your sex partner has trichomoniasis (also called trich) it’s important for both of you to get treated right away. Even if you don’t have symptoms, you can still spread trich. Plus, trich raises your chances of getting HIV and makes you more likely to pass it to someone else.

What Drugs Are Used to Treat Trichomoniasis?

Trich is usually treated with one of two medicines:

Both drugs are antibiotics and kill the parasite that cause trich. Metronidazole comes in different forms, like pills and creams, but only the pills work on trich.

If you need to take more than one dose, make sure to take the drugs just as directed by your doctor. It’s important to finish your medicine even after your symptoms are gone.

Both metronidazole and tinidazole work very well, and generally they’re equally safe, but doctors typically suggest metronidazole first. It’s rare that metronidazole doesn’t get the job done, but if it fails, then you may get tinidazole.

With either drug, you’ll need to avoid drinking alcohol for a short period. With metronidazole, you’ll need to avoid drinking for 24 hours after taking the last dose. With tinidazole, you’ll need to wait 72 hours after your last dose. If you do drink alcohol, you may experience severe nausea and vomiting.

How Long Do They Take to Work?

You’re typically cured in about 7 to 10 days, but check with your doctor to know for sure. It’s not uncommon for people to get another trich infection a few months after treatment. So make sure you don’t have sex again until you and your sex partners are cured and your symptoms are gone. If you don’t wait, you’ll just keep passing it back and forth. Because it’s common to get another infection, doctors suggest that women get tested again for trich within three months of treatment.

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Are There Any Side Effects?

As with all medicines, there are some side effects to the drugs used for trich treatment. Some common ones include:

Can I Get Treated If I’m Pregnant?

Tell your doctor if you have trich and you’re pregnant, or think you might be. Doctors don’t always agree on how to treat trich during pregnancy. That said, there are no studies that show metronidazole will harm you or your baby if you take it when you’re pregnant.

So the standard treatment if you’re pregnant and have trich that shows symptoms is to take a single dose of metronidazole. If you don’t have symptoms, you might put off treatment until after week 37 of your pregnancy.

Can I Get Treated If I’m Breastfeeding?

It’s generally considered safe to take metronidazole, but avoid breastfeeding until 12 to 24 hours after you take the last pill.

With tinidazole, it’s less clear. Some doctors suggest you don’t take it at all if you’re breastfeeding. Others suggest that you stop breastfeeding and don’t start again until 3 days after you’ve taken your last dose.

If you’re unsure what to do, you can talk it through with your doctor to see what’s best for you and your baby.

WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Melinda Ratini, DO, MS on April 05, 2017

Sources

SOURCES:

CDC: “Trichomoniasis - CDC Fact Sheet.”

Mayo Clinic: “Trichomoniasis,” “Metronidazole (Oral Route).”

WomensHealth.gov: “Trichomoniasis.”

Cleveland Clinic: “Trichomoniasis.”

American Sexual Health Association: “Trichomoniasis.”

Medscape: “Trichomoniasis.”

American Family Physician: “Tinidazole (Tindamax) for Trichomoniasis and Bacterial Vaginosis.”

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