Trichomoniasis can be diagnosed by looking at a sample of vaginal fluid for women or urine for men under a microscope. If the parasite can be seen under the microscope, no further tests are needed. If this test isn't conclusive, tests called rapid antigen tests and nucleic acid amplification may be used.
The most common treatment for trichomoniasis, even for pregnant women, is to swallow one megadose of either metronidazole (Flagyl) or tinidazole (Tindamax). In some cases, your doctor might recommend a lower dose of metronidazole two times a day for seven days.
Both you and your partner need treatment. And you need to avoid sexual intercourse until the infection is cured, which takes about a week.
Don't drink alcohol for 24 hours after taking metronidazole or 72 hours after taking tinidazole, because it can cause severe nausea and vomiting.
Your doctor will likely want to retest you for trichomoniasis from two weeks to three months after treatment to be sure you haven't been reinfected.
Untreated, trichomoniasis can last for months to years.
Preparing for your appointment
Your family doctor, gynecologist or a medical practitioner at an urgent care center can diagnose and prescribe treatment for trichomoniasis.
What you can do
Before the appointment, you might prepare a list that includes:
- A detailed description of your symptoms, including when they started
- Sexually transmitted infections you've had
- The number of sexual partners you've had during the past few years
What to expect from your doctor
For women, your doctor will perform a pelvic exam and may take a sample of your vaginal fluids for testing. Men will need to provide a urine sample.
April 18, 2020
- Sobel JD. Trichomoniasis. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/search. Accessed Feb. 8, 2018.
- Trichomoniasis — CDC fact sheet. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/STD/Trichomonas/STDFact-Trichomoniasis.htm. Accessed Feb. 8, 2018.
- Meites E, et al. A review of evidence-based care of symptomatic trichomoniasis and asymptomatic trichomonas vaginalis infection. Clinical Infectious Diseases. 2015;61:S837.
- Trichomoniasis. U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. https://www.womenshealth.gov/a-z-topics/trichomoniasis. Accessed Feb. 8, 2018.
- Sobel JD. Trichomoniasis. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/search. Accessed March 13, 2020.