Trichomoniasis treatment over-the-counter
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- Written by Dr. Andrea Pinto MD - Written on October 5, 2021
Trichomoniasis is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) around the world, but thankfully, it can be treated and cured with antibiotics. The medications that are used to treat trichomoniasis are widely available and relatively affordable, but does that mean that you can get trichomoniasis treatment without a prescription?
Keep reading this article to discover whether you can obtain trichomoniasis treatment over-the-counter.
Can I get trichomoniasis treatment over-the-counter?
Trichomoniasis, also known as “trich”, is a sexually transmitted disease caused by a microscopic parasite called Trichomonas vaginalis. Fortunately, trichomoniasis treatments are very effective against this disease; however, it’s important to know where and how to access this treatment if you have the disease.
Currently, you can’t get trichomoniasis treatment over-the-counter, since the medications used to treat this STD require a prescription. This may sound inconvenient, but it’s important to remember that certain medications can have side effects, which is why they’re only sold under medical orders. Regulating the sale of antibiotics also helps prevent the formation of new antibiotic-resistant microbes, ensuring that only people who need to take a specific medication can buy it.
In order to get a prescription for trichomoniasis treatment, you will need to receive a positive diagnosis first. Let’s discuss who should get tested for trichomoniasis and how you can do this.
Should I get tested for trichomoniasis?
If you ever experience symptoms of trichomoniasis, it’s important to get tested to make sure you get the correct diagnosis. According to the NHS, the symptoms of trichomoniasis can include:
- Abnormal vaginal discharge that can be yellow-green, gray, thick, thin, frothy, and foul-smelling
- Soreness and swelling around the genitals
- Pain or discomfort during urination and/or intercourse
- Increased urinary frequency and/or urgency
- Pain during ejaculation (men)
- Thin, white penile discharge (men)
There are several STDs that can have very similar symptoms but require different treatments, so it’s very important to confirm your diagnosis through testing before you start any type of medication.
And as a general rule, you should get tested for STDs regularly, especially if you have any risk factors that increase your likelihood of catching an STD. According to the Mayo Clinic, some of the risk factors for trichomoniasis include:
- Having had multiple sexual partners recently
- A past history of trichomoniasis or other STDs
- Having unprotected sex
How is trichomoniasis diagnosed?
After performing a physical examination and taking your personal history, your doctor could take different types of samples for a trichomoniasis test. The samples that can be used to diagnose trichomoniasis include:
- Vaginal swab (women)
- Urethral swab (men)
- Urine sample
If your test comes back positive, your healthcare provider will then prescribe treatment. The most common treatment for trichomoniasis is a single dose of an antibiotic called metronidazole. In some cases, your doctor could recommend a smaller dose taken for 7 days straight.
According to the CDC, pregnant women can also take this medication safely. If you have trichomoniasis, your partner should receive treatment at the same time — if you’ve had multiple partners recently, they should be informed of your diagnosis. You will also need to abstain from sex until you finish your treatment. Many people can have asymptomatic trichomoniasis, and testing is the best way to prevent its spread.
As the Cleveland Clinic mentions, trichomoniasis won’t go away on its own, and you can pass it on to new partners even if you never exhibit symptoms. You should also keep in mind that you can get reinfected with trichomoniasis even after receiving treatment.
Where can I get treatment for trichomoniasis?
We know that it can be inconvenient to schedule an appointment with your physician, get tested, and then go to a pharmacy to pick up your prescription.
But thanks to modern at-home STD testing, this process has become easier. After ordering your STD test, you will receive a collection kit that contains everything you need to take a good sample. It’s very important to follow the instructions closely, since a bad sample could lead to a false negative or false positive result.
After you take your samples, you’ll need to ship it back to the test provider. Your sample will be analyzed at a certified lab, and you will get your results back as quickly as possible. If you test positive for trichomoniasis or another STD, your provider could offer the possibility of shipping the treatment to you or sending you a prescription so you can get the medications.
So despite the fact that you can’t get trichomoniasis treatment over-the-counter, at-home STD testing provides a simple and straightforward option for you to get trichomoniasis treatment without having to wait for a doctor’s appointment, test results, and pharmacy prescription.
There are still certain instances where you should seek in-person medical assistance. In some cases, your online STD testing provider may advise you that you visit your doctor for a physical examination or to run tests. You should also consider going to the doctor if your STD test comes back negative but you still experience symptoms, or if your symptoms are too severe.
The good news is that most cases of trichomoniasis are completely cured after a single course of antibiotics. According to a study published in the journal Clinical Microbiology Reviews, metronidazole is effective in 85 to 95 percent of all cases of trichomoniasis. Taking a trichomoniasis test is necessary to confirm the diagnosis and prescribe treatment, but at-home STD testing can be a convenient way to get treated for this infection.
- Trichomoniasis - nhs.uk
- Trichomoniasis - mayoclinic.org
- Trichomoniasis — CDC Fact Sheet - cdc.gov
- Trichomoniasis - my.clevelandclinic.org
- Treatment of Infections Caused by Metronidazole-Resistant Trichomonas vaginalis - ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
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