How to Treat Trichomoniasis at Home

Trichomoniasis is a prevalent and curable sexually transmitted infection (STI) caused by a protozoan parasite (Trichomonas vaginalis). It is more common in women than men. In 2018, 2 million infections were reported. However, only about 30% of people develop symptoms.

People who experience symptoms of trichomoniasis like itching, foul odor, discharge, and redness in the genitals may be tempted to find natural home remedies, but do they work?

This article discusses home remedies, proven treatments, and what happens if this STI is left untreated.

Female people scratching crotch with leucorrhoea,vaginitis,burning itchy genital,vaginal itching and unpleasant smell,problems of bacterial vaginosis,leukorrhea,gynecological and health care concept

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Do Trichomoniasis Home Remedies Work?

Many home remedies thought to help treat trichomoniasis have not been thoroughly researched. The best treatment option is antibiotics. Sometimes, though, people become antibiotic resistant and more research is needed to help determine other treatments for this infection.

Some studies suggest that topical vaginal treatment can be an alternative to conventional treatment in people who have allergies or are drug resistant. This could be a promising area of research.

Popular Home Remedies for Trichomoniasis

Popular home remedies for trichomoniasis may include:

  • Myrrh
  • Pomegranate juice or extract
  • Garlic
  • Resveratrol (antioxidant found in grapes, berries, red wine, and peanuts)
  • Basil
  • Other herbs such as black cumin extract

Researchers found positive results when testing creams made with herbs and compounds in plants known to have antibacterial, antifungal, antioxidative, and antimicrobial properties. However, most research has been done in vitro (in a test tube) and does not apply to humans.

Studies conducted on humans are small. One study looked at 33 women with trichomoniasis and treated 13 antibiotic-resistant women with an oleo-resin extract derived from myrrh, Commiphora molmol (mirazid). They received two capsules (600 milligrams) for six to eight days on an empty stomach two hours before breakfast. About 85% were cured.

While the results are promising, the study is of a very small sample size. Also, supplements are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and quality and purity vary among brands. Speak with your healthcare provider before supplementing with myrrh.

Foods to Eat

There is no harm in including foods in your diet that are naturally rich in antibacterial, antifungal, and antimicrobial compounds. Eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and other plants has improved overall health and longevity.

Consuming pomegranates, garlic, basil, and foods with resveratrol will provide health benefits but are probably unlikely to cure trichomoniasis.

More Research Is Needed

Researchers know that people need more options for treatment, especially because they may become reinfected or be unable to take traditional medicines. More research is necessary to validate the use of current, new, and effective biological compounds to treat and prevent trichomoniasis.

Proven Treatments for Trichomoniasis

Oral Flagyl (metronidazole) is a recommended treatment regimen for trichomoniasis. Alternative treatment for men and women is Tindamax (tinidazole), which is more expensive and has fewer gastrointestinal side effects.

If these medications don't work, it could be that you have become antibiotic resistant, are unable to finish the course of treatment, or have had repeated exposures to an untreated partner. Oral medication may need to be repeated.

It is recommended that the infected partner is treated and you both abstain from sex until therapy is completed and symptoms have resolved. A person should be retested (if possible) in three months to ensure the infection is gone.

Special considerations must be taken if a person is pregnant, has human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), or is allergic to metronidazole and tinidazole. Working closely with your healthcare provider is very important.

What Happens If Trichomoniasis Is Left Untreated?

Some people with trichomoniasis can be asymptomatic, which complicates treatment, especially when a person does not know how they got it. If left untreated, serious side effects can occur in pregnant people, which can include:

  • Premature rupture of placental membranes (water breaking)
  • Premature birth
  • Low birth weight in infants
  • Neonatal death (death of a newborn)

Infertility and increased predisposition to HIV infection for men and women have also been reported.

Summary

Trichomoniasis is a very common and treatable STI. If you suspect you have been with a partner who has this, you should see a healthcare provider to be tested. If you test positive, you will likely be treated with a dose of oral antibiotics. Home remedies to treat this infection are not ideal since they may not cure the STI. Untreated trichomoniasis can pose health risks.

A Word From Verywell

Treating a trichomoniasis infection at home can be tempting, especially if you are embarrassed to share your symptoms with your healthcare provider. While alternative remedies are unlikely to harm you, they are not thoroughly researched, and it's unknown whether they work. Careful treatment and follow-up care with your healthcare provider are important in getting rid of trichomoniasis.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Can you treat trichomoniasis over the counter?

    The best treatment for trichomoniasis is prescribed medication Flagyl (metronidazole), which you will receive from your healthcare provider.

  • How is trichomoniasis diagnosed?

    A swab of the vagina will be taken to examine the fluid under a microscope. Trichomoniasis can also be detected in the urine of men.

  • How long does it take trichomoniasis to go away without treatment?

    Without treatment, the infection can last for months or years. Usually, it does not go away without medical treatment.


8 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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  5. Nazer M, Abbaszadeh S, Darvishi M, et al. The most important herbs used in the treatment of sexually transmitted infections in traditional medicineSudan Journal of Medical Sciences (SJMS). doi:10.18502/sjms.v14i2.4691

  6. Hashemi, N., Ommi, D., Kheyri, P., et al. A review study on the anti-trichomonas activities of medicinal plantsInternational Journal for Parasitology: Drugs and Drug Resistance. 2021;15:92-104. doi:10.1016/j.ijpddr.2021.01.002

  7. Aslani A, Asghari G, Darani HY, Ghanadian M, Hosseini F. Design, Formulation, and Physicochemical Evaluation of Vaginal Cream Containing Eucalyptus camaldulensis, Viola odorata, and Mentha piperita extracts for Prevention and Treatment of Trichomoniasis. Int J Prev Med. 2019;10:179. doi:10.4103/ijpvm.IJPVM_525_17

  8. Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Sexually transmitted treatment guidelines, 2021. Trichomoniasis.

By Barbie Cervoni MS, RD, CDCES, CDN
Barbie Cervoni MS, RD, CDCES, CDN, is a registered dietitian and certified diabetes care and education specialist.