Dr. M.J. Bazos, MD. Patient Handout

About Your Diagnosis
Trichomonas vaginitis is a sexually transmitted vaginal infection. However, it does not cause the serious health problems often associated with other sexually transmitted diseases (such as chlamydia or gonorrhea). It is caused by a “protozoan” (a microscopic living organism). It is a very common infection. It is diagnosed by examining the vaginal discharge under a microscope or by sending a culture specimen to the laboratory. It is usually completely curable by taking the appropriate medication.

Living With Your Diagnosis
The most common symptoms are:
• Intense vaginal/vulvar itching.
• Increased vaginal discharge that may be yellowgreenish or gray.

The treatment is metronidazole (Flagyl). Metronidazole can be either taken in a dose of 2 grams all at once, “stat,” or in a dosage of 250 milligrams three times each day for 7 days. Both regimens are equally effective. The 2-gram stat dose is easier to take, but the 7-day treatment may be better tolerated by some. Occasionally, metronidazole can cause mild nausea. Trichomonas vaginitis has to be treated with oral metronidazole because vaginal metronidazole is not effective. Your partner (if you have a partner) should be treated at the same time. This is very important. If your partner is not treated, you will get Trichomonas again. Anytime an antibiotic is used, a vaginal yeast infection may follow. (The antibiotic “kills” the “healthy, protective” bacteria as well as the “unhealthy” bacteria, allowing the yeast to grow.) If you experience vulvar or vaginal itching after treatment, you can purchase an over-the-counter antiyeast medication, such as Monistat, Femstat, or Gynelotrimin, or purchase the generic equivalent (just as effective as brand names) and use it as directed. If the itching does not resolve, call your doctor.

The DOs
• Take all your medication as prescribed.
• If you have a partner, make sure your partner is treated.

The DON’Ts
• Refrain from sexual activity (intercourse) while being treated.
• Do not drink any alcoholic beverages while taking the medication. You can become very nauseated!
• Do not take metronidazole if you think you may be pregnant.

When to Call Your Doctor
• If you become very nauseated and cannot take the medication.
• If you have persistent symptoms after you finish the medication.