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Trichomoniasis — known by most as trich — is a common sexually transmitted infection (STI) that affects nearly three million Americans every year. It is more prevalent among women than men, sometimes resulting in pregnancy complications and bacterial vaginosis.
Despite modern medicine providing effective remedies to curtail this disease, there may be many reasons why trichomoniasis won't go away after treatment. These reasons vary, from reinfection by a sexual partner to antibiotics not being able to fight off the trich infection.
In this guide, we cover the top reasons trichomoniasis doesn't go away and what you and your doctor can do to clear up your infection.
All About Trichomoniasis
Trichomonas vaginalisis is a curable protozoan parasite that spreads through bodily fluids during sexual intercourse. Doctors typically locate trichomoniasis infections near the vulva, vagina, and cervix. Likewise, infected men may experience trich infections in their urethras.
Other body parts, such as the hands, mouth, and anus, are not hospitable environments for the trich protozoan parasite. Hence, most symptoms only develop near the genitals.
According to the CDC, about 30% of infected individuals experience symptoms from this vaginalis infection — primarily women between 16 and 35. People with multiple sexual partners or who have unsafe sex have a higher risk of contracting trich.
You may wonder, “How long does it take to cure trichomoniasis?” Completing a rapid STD test at Rapid STD Testing can help you identify trichomoniasis and begin treatment quickly. With a suitable treatment plan, you could cure trich infections in just seven days.
Resistant Trichomoniasis Infection
There are many reasons why trichomoniasis won't go away, including:
- A high concentration of metronidazole-resistant trich in your body
- Reinfection from your partner after treatment
- Early withdrawal from doctor-recommended antibiotic treatment
- Misdiagnosis of your sexually transmitted disease (STD)
- Your infection changes from asymptomatic to symptomatic
Recurrent infections may be due to metronidazole-resistant trichomoniasis. This antimicrobial disease can contribute to severe symptoms and higher transmission rates. Unfortunately, these untreated STD symptoms can significantly lower your quality of life and put others in your community at risk — particularly HIV-positive women and black women with high risk factors.
If your trichomoniasis won't go away with antibiotics (i.e., a single dose of metronidazole or tinidazole once a day), your doctor may raise your dosage from 2g a day to 500mg twice a day. Some research also suggests home remedies, like ginger ethanol extracts, can alleviate symptoms and kill trich protozoans.
Many infected individuals make the mistake of giving up on treatment too early. For instance, they may stop taking antibiotics once their symptoms disappear. However, Trichomonas vaginalisis can continue living in the body even if you no longer experience symptoms.
Dormant trichomoniasis is another concern. Some people notice symptoms five days after exposure, while others unknowingly spread the disease for weeks before noticing pain or abnormal discharge. Researchers are still not sure why some patients feel symptoms while others do not.
Still, trich can live in the body for months or even years undetected. That is why it is so important to schedule routine STD tests at a qualified medical facility like Rapid STD Testing. Detecting trich early will help you avoid future health complications and get you the treatment you need faster.
What Happens If Trichomoniasis Doesn't Go Away?
In some cases, recurrent infections can cause negative symptoms such as:
- Preterm Delivery: Infected women may experience complications during pregnancy that result in early deliveries. Preterm infants often have lower birth weights and are vulnerable to other diseases. Children born to infected mothers may also contract trichomoniasis.
- Painful Urination: Infections can cause pain during urination and ejaculation. Contact your doctor immediately if you notice discoloration or blood in your urine. These problems indicate a severe infection.
- Strange Sensations: You may experience a metallic taste in your mouth from trich.
- Unusual Vaginal Discharge: Trich can cause unpleasant-smelling, off-white or gray discharge. Prescription cream or gel treatments may be an effective way to reduce discharge.
- Genital Itching, Burning, or Soreness: Like many STDs, trich can cause minor or severe irritation in the genital region. Same-day STD testing from a Rapid STD Testing facility can help you determine if trich or another STI is the source of your discomfort.
Long-term trich infections can also put you at high risk for abdominal inflammatory disease and infertility.
Other Reasons Why Trichomoniasis Won't Go Away
Other reasons why trichomoniasis won't go away may surprise you.
For example, suppose you contract trich from your partner and you both seek medical help. Your symptoms clear up after a week, and your doctors give you the green light to continue sexual activity. Within a few weeks, your symptoms reappear.
In this case, your partner might still have trich in their body, or they contracted it again from someone else — passing it back to you. You can avoid these problems by using protection during sex, such as a condom, and asking your partner about potential infidelity.
Many people who purchase at-home STD testing kits and fail to collect the sample correctly misdiagnose their conditions. In such situations, symptoms that appear to be trich may be due to a different sexually transmitted infection entirely. A 10-panel STD test can help you screen for multiple infections, including HPV, syphilis, and chlamydia — allowing you to pursue the correct treatment plan.
Over-reliance on home remedies may prevent you from curing your trichomoniasis infection effectively. It's important to ask your doctor for recommendations and complete research before attempting an at-home solution. Consider using caution when administering home remedies like:
- Black Tea Extract: Lab studies from 2017 suggest that black tea extract may kill antibiotic-resistant trich. However, the lack of human testing discourages most doctors from recommending this solution.
- Hydrogen Peroxide: Hydrogen peroxide is a popular antimicrobial solution that many people use to treat trich. However, infected individuals who use hydrogen peroxide may experience worsened symptoms due to skin irritation. It can also slow the body's immune response by killing microbes that attack trich infections.
- Garlic Extract: Many cultures utilize garlic to kill parasites. While this solution may be effective on mild trich infections, there is not a significant body of research to elevate it as a practical cure. Those who rely on garlic remedies may not experience any changes in their symptoms.
Don't waste time guessing. Visit a Rapid STD Testing clinic to identify the reasons why trichomoniasis won't go away.
Treatment for Trichomoniasis
Your physician can develop a proper treatment plan for your trichomoniasis infection after a non-invasive physical exam and vaginal swab test. You can expect your STD results to come back within five to ten days. Alternatively, a rapid test may provide results within 24 to 48 hours.
Metronidazole is the typical first-line treatment for trich. You can take this medication in a pill once or twice a day for a week, depending on your prescribed dosage.
Do not consume alcohol while taking metronidazole. Severe reactions may occur, including sickness and death.
Your doctor will monitor your condition until the infection clears up. You can avoid spreading the infection to others during treatment by abstaining from sexual intercourse or using latex or polyurethane male condoms.
Consult with your doctor before trying any at-home remedies. They can provide professional recommendations and guide you toward more effective solutions.
Can Trichomoniasis Go Away on Its Own?
So, how do you know when trichomoniasis is gone?
It is unsafe to assume your treatment is a success once symptoms disappear. Instead, most doctors recommend testing for trich three months after treatment. This method will ensure that the parasite is no longer active in your body.
Trichomoniasis will usually not clear up without any form of treatment. However, the infection may disappear in babies born with trich, even without antibiotic treatment.
Remember, trich can survive in your body for years. Waiting more than a few weeks to address your infection can lead to painful complications.
Start Treating the Symptoms of Trichomoniasis Today
Correctly identifying your STD is the first step toward effective treatment. At Rapid STD Testing, we offer in-office screenings, at-home test panels, and same-day results when you need them.
Discover more reasons why trichomoniasis won't go away. Find a Rapid STD Testing clinic near you to schedule your screening.