NHS Choices - Treating trichomoniasis
Trichomoniasis is unlikely to go away without treatment. In rare cases, the infection may cure itself, but if you do not get treated, you risk passing the infection on to someone else.
If there is a high chance you have trichomoniasis and you have obvious symptoms, treatment may be started before the results of the test are back.
Antibiotics and antifungals
Trichomoniasis is usually treated quickly and easily. Most people will be prescribed an antibiotic known as metronidazole which, if taken correctly, is very effective. You will usually have to take metronidazole twice a day, for five to seven days.
Sometimes this antibiotic can be prescribed in a single concentrated dose. However, this single dose is not suitable for pregnant or breastfeeding women.
Metronidazole can cause nausea, vomiting and a slight metallic taste in your mouth. It is best to take it after eating food. If you start vomiting, contact your GP as the treatment will not be effective.
Do not drink alcohol while taking metronidazole and for at least 48 hours after finishing the course of antibiotics. Drinking alcohol while taking this medicine can cause more severe side effects.
If you cannot tolerate metronidazole, your GP may prescribe a single dose of another antibiotic called tinidazole.
Pregnant women can safely take metronidazole.
However, pregnant women who have side effects when taking metronidazole or who have concerns should discuss this with their GP.
A clotrimazole pessary is a type of antifungal medicine that is inserted into the vagina. It is very safe for pregnant women to use and will help relieve symptoms of trichomoniasis.
However, it is far less effective than antibiotics and is unlikely to cure the infection. Your GP will have to monitor your condition and may need to carry out further tests to check the infection has cleared.
If you take your antibiotics correctly, you will not normally need any follow-up tests or examinations for trichomoniasis.
However, if your symptoms remain after treatment, or if your original laboratory test produced a negative result for trichomoniasis, you may require further testing to see whether your symptoms are being caused by a different sexually transmitted infection (STI).
If you have unprotected sex before your treatment is finished, you need to return to your GP surgery or sexual health clinic because you may have become reinfected. You must also return if you:
- did not complete your course of antibiotics
- did not take your antibiotics correctly (according to the instructions)
- vomited shortly after taking your antibiotics
You may need more antibiotics or a different form of treatment.
Don't have sexual intercourse while you are being treated for trichomoniasis, as you may become reinfected.
If you were prescribed a single one-day dose of antibiotics, you need to avoid sexual intercourse for seven days after you have taken the medication.
It is also important that your partner is tested for the infection, as they too must be treated. If your sexual partner is not treated, this increases the risk of reinfection.