Trichomoniasis is unlikely to go away without treatment. The infection may cure itself in rare cases, but you risk passing the infection on to someone else if you're not treated.
Trichomoniasis is usually treated quickly and easily with antibiotics.
Most people are prescribed an antibiotic called metronidazole which is very effective if taken correctly. You'll usually have to take metronidazole twice a day, for five to seven days.
Sometimes this antibiotic can be prescribed in a single, larger dose. However, this may have a higher risk of side effects and it's not recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding women as a precaution.
Metronidazole can cause nausea, vomiting and a slight metallic taste in your mouth. It's best to take it after eating food. Contact your doctor for advice if you start vomiting, because the treatment won't be effective if you're unable to swallow the tablets.
Don't drink alcohol while taking metronidazole and for at least three days after finishing the course of antibiotics. Drinking alcohol while taking this medicine can cause more severe side effects, including:
- a fast heartbeat or heart palpitations
- skin flushing
- nausea and vomiting
A specialist can recommend alternative treatments if metronidazole is unsuitable for you (for example, if you're allergic to it).
If you take your antibiotics correctly, you won't normally need any follow-up tests or examinations for trichomoniasis.
However, you may require further testing to see whether your symptoms are being caused by a different sexually transmitted infection (STI) if your symptoms remain or recur after treatment.
If you have unprotected sex before your treatment is finished, you need to return to your GP surgery or sexual health clinic. You may have become reinfected. You must also return if you:
- didn't complete your course of antibiotics
- didn't 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.
You should avoid having sex while you're being treated for trichomoniasis, as you may become reinfected.
If you were prescribed a single dose of antibiotics, you need to avoid having sex for seven days after taking the medication.
It's very important that your current sexual partner and any other recent partners are also tested and treated. If your sexual partner isn't treated, this increases the risk of reinfection.