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How to Treat Trichomoniasis Effectively

Updated on October 26, 2012

The drug treatment for Trichomoniasis (TV) is a narrow-spectrum antibiotic medically referred to as metronidazole, which is administered orally (by mouth). Symptoms improve very quickly, within a couple of days. The gel form, which is an option for treating Bacterial Vaginosis (BV), is not as effective as tablets for killing Trichomoniasis.

If the treatment doesn't appear to work, it can be for three reasons. The most common is that you have been re-infected. You should make sure that your partner has been treated - preferably at a genitourinary medicine clinic.

Two other rare reasons are because you have a strain of Trichomoniasis that is resistant to metronidazole, or the antibiotic has not been absorbed in sufficient quantities to kill the bacteria. If treatment does not seem to work, you should see a genitor urinary medicine specialist. Your partner also needs to be seen again and you both may need another type of antibiotic treatment.

What about your sexual partner?

Trichomonas vaginalis can survive on objects such as sex toys, and even lavatory seats, for up to 45 minutes. There has also been a report of the infection being transmitted in a Jacuzzi.

However, studies of women who have developed Trichomoniasis almost always find that it has been sexually transmitted. If you have Trichomoniasis, your male partner will carry the organism for a few weeks after your last sexual encounter. However, as with candidal infection, the organism will eventually die in a man unless he is re-infected.

Testing a man for Trichomoniasis is unsatisfactory. Occasionally, the organism can be seen but tests usually show nothing, or just 'non-specific' inflammation of the male urethra. Unfortunately, non-specific inflammation in men is labeled non-specific urethritis (NSU), a condition usually caused by Chlamydia, or related bacteria, and requiring quite different treatment.

It is, therefore, important that your male partner sees an experienced doctor to sort out this complex situation and it is essential that your partner's doctor is aware of your diagnosis. Regardless of what is found (or not found) on examination, your male partner must be treated for Trichomoniasis if you have it, or re-infection is likely to occur.

If your partner is female, she should be checked by a doctor, too. This is because Trichomoniasis is easily transmitted from woman to woman on sex toys and fingers.

Trichomoniasis often occurs with gonorrhea and Chlamydia infection. For this reason it is essential that you and your partner are also examined for these more serious conditions.


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