What is Trichomoniasis?
Sometimes in life, we have to deal with things that are less than pleasant; this includes issues with our health.
Trichomoniasis is one of those conditions, a parasite transmitted through sexual contact, often causing vaginal infections in women.
Men may not notice any symptoms. If left untreated, women may develop vaginitis, which is inflammation of the cervix or vagina.
Fortunately, there are some home remedies that can help treat these symptoms and make this unpleasant problem an issue of the past.
Signs and Symptoms
People with trichomoniasis often exhibit no symptoms whatsoever. In fact, it is estimated that around 7 in every 10 people with the infection have no signs or symptoms at all. very often, the symptoms will be too mild to notice or may be confused with another type of infection like a urinary tract infection or a yeast infection.
However, some people do exhibit symptoms of the condition and this is what you need to look out for.
Symptoms of trichomoniasis typically appear between 5-28 days after sexual intercourse. If you suspect that you have trichomoniasis, you may have some of the following symptoms:
- Strong smelling vaginal discharge that is frothy, and greenish or yellowish in color
- Vaginal itching
- Vaginal irritation
- Painful urination
- Experience pain during intercourse
- Pain in the lower abdomen
Men are not typically aware of infection until their female partner requires treatment.
However, in some cases, men do experience some signs and symptoms, which are:
- Irritation of the penis
- Mild burning after ejaculation or urination
In order to diagnose trichomoniasis, a doctor will take samples of vaginal fluid in women and urine in men then send them to the lab. Trich can be diagnosed by growing a culture but there are now quicker tests including antigen tests or nucleic acid amplification.
If you suspect you are suffering from this condition, see your gynecologist or physician and discuss the best route for treatment, especially if you are considering using a home remedy.
Conventional Treatment Methods
Finding out that you or your partner has an STD is never easy but in the case of trichomoniasis, it is one of the easiest to treat. Most people will need just a single course of antibiotics and are cured in around a week.
We will soon be looking at natural remedies for trichomoniasis but two types of medication are usually prescribed:
- Metronidazole (Flagyl)
- Tinidazole (Tindamax)
Both antibiotics are very effective in killing the parasites responsible for trich. It is important that you take the full course of antibiotics even if your symptoms have already gone.
While both medications are extremely effective, metronidazole is usually prescribed first.
One thing to note is that you must avoid drinking alcohol while you are taking both drugs. In the case of metronidazole, you should avoid alcohol for at least 24 hours after your last dose.
Drinking alcohol can result in very severe symptoms including nausea. vomiting and headaches.
While antibiotics are very effective, they do come with a risk of certain side effects. Some cases of trich also prove to be resistant to antibiotic treatment.
Fortunately, there are a number of natural remedies that can help treat trich both safely and effectively.
Home Remedies for Trichomoniasis
Along with whatever treatment your physician provides, there are some home remedies you can use to help treat the uncomfortable and unpleasant symptoms associated with trichomoniasis.
It is important to note that many of the home remedies here have not been tested while others have only proven effective under laboratory conditions. If you suspect you have trichomoniasis or have been diagnosed with the condition, it is important to seek medical advice.
1) Tea Tree Oil
This medicinal essential oil is widely used for a variety of ailments and conditions, including trichomoniasis. This natural antibiotic and antimicrobial oil destroys the parasites responsible for this condition. Apply tea tree oil on the vagina, but be forewarned that this strong oil may initially cause irritation to the skin.
To experience the anti-fungal and antibacterial properties with minimal irritation, be sure to dilute the tea tree oil with a carrier oil such as almond oil or olive oil. You can also make a solution of tea tree oil and water and use it as a douche.
This citrusy essential oil is especially effective in helping to clear up vaginal discharge associated with trichomoniasis.
To use bergamot essential oil as a natural treatment for trichomoniasis, you can either add it to a warm bath or use it in your douche of choice.
An effective way to get rid of parasites is to use colloidal silver. Colloids of silver have shown to act like their victim, attaching themselves to the parasite and essentially sucking the life out of them.
Use this treatment every day until the infection clears up.
Garlic is delicious but also has a number of excellent health benefits. in fact, garlic has been well-researched and is known to have a number of therapeutic benefits.
A study published in 2013 tested garlic extract in different concentrations against the parasites responsible for trichomoniasis. (7)
The researchers found that garlic extract had a deadly effect on the parasites. However, while these results are promising, the study was conducted in the laboratory and have not yet been replicated in humans with the condition.
Like tea tree oil, garlic contains natural antimicrobial and antibiotic properties that help eliminate the parasite.
Eat a clove of garlic every day or try adding it to your dishes. You can also try a garlic supplementif you can’t stomach the taste or smell of that much garlic
To help restore healthy bacteria in your system, such as lactobacillus, try eating yogurt every day. By enjoying a cup of yogurt, you not only keep up on vital minerals and protein but help beneficial bacteria flourish.
This good bacteria helps fight infection, boosts the immune system, and helps eliminate toxins.
Along with consuming a cup of yogurt every day, try applying some onto the affected area to help fight the infection.
Create a live-culture yogurt douche by making a solution of a half teaspoon of yogurt with one cup of water.
Use this douche regularly until the infection clears up. Eating yogurt daily also works as a preventative measure.
6) Apple Cider Vinegar
Keeping a clean interior atmosphere is important to the health of your vagina.
By cleansing with an apple cider vinegar, you will not only keep things clean, but you will also flush out some of the infectious discharge and help remove some of the parasites.Apple cider vinegar is highly acidic and therefore creates a hostile atmosphere for parasites.
To use apple cider vinegar as a treatment, make a douche mixing one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar with one-quarter cup of water. Use this treatment regularly to restore balance and fight infection.
Its no secret that citrus fruits rich in vitamin C helps keep your body running smoothly, however, you may not know that this vitamin is also great for gynecological health.
Vitamin C helps maintain the health of your cervix by producing collagen and helping the maintain the structural integrity of your cervical walls, therefore making it harder for infections to breed. To help prevent infection, try eating lemon, orange, and grapefruit daily.
Maintaining a strong immune system is vital to preventing infection from taking over your body. By regularly taking Echinacea, you can boost your immune system while slowing down the infection of trichomoniasis.
Drinking eight to ten glasses of water a day is important, we all know this. However, if your body is vulnerable due to a trichomoniasis infection, it is important to keep yourself properly hydrated to help your body fight off infection.
Drinking enough water helps flush out toxins and keeps your body tissues hydrated.
According to studies, myrrh or Commiphora molmol may also be an effective remedy for trichomoniasis.
In a study published in 2009, women were given myrrh in capsules every morning for a week. The capsules were taken on empty stomachs several hours before breakfast. Previous laboratory studies had already shown that myrrh was effective against the trich parasites and the results of this study proved very promising. (1)
11) Zinc Sulfate
Researchers looked at the effectiveness of a zinc sulfate douche on women with cases of trichomoniasis resistant to conventional antibiotic treatment. They treated the women with a 1% solution of zinc sulfate administered through a vaginal douche. The researchers found that the treatment was effective in the vast majority of participants. (2)
The researchers were not absolutely sure of the mechanisms but the treatment did prove highly effective with symptoms clearing up and follow up checks testing negative.
Berberine is a compound found in a number of herbs which has demonstrated activity against various parasites in the laboratory. Studies suggest that berberine extract may be useful in treating trichomoniasis.
Herbs that contain berberine include goldenseal, barberry, Chinese coptis and Oregon grape but it is also available in supplementary form.
Laboratory studies have demonstrated that berberine had antiparasitic effects on a par with the antibiotic – metronidazole. Berberine increased the level of autophagic vacuoles which caused the death of the trichomonas parasite. (3)
Several studies have revealed that herbal extracts containing berberine in combination with other phytochemicals were more effective than taking berberine alone. (4)
“The effect of berberine sulphate salt on the growth of Trichomonas vaginalis in vitro was compared to the efficacy of metronidazole as a reference drug. Results showed that berberine sulphate was comparable to metronidazole as regards potency with the advantage of being more safe and possible replacement in metronidazole resistant cases.” (5)
13) Black Tea
A study published in 2017 was conducted to examine the effect of a black tea extract on trichomonads, which included the parasite responsible for trichomiasis. As well as black tea, the researchers looked at the effects of other herbs including grapeseed and green tea. (6)
The research team exposes the black tea extratc to three types of parasite including the one that causes trichomoniais. The results were promising. The researchers found that the black tea extracts helped stop the growth of all three trichomonads and also helped kill trichomoniasis, including antibiotic resistant strains of the parasite.
While these results are promising, the experiment was conducted in the laboratory and have not yet been replicated on humans with the infection. More studies are necessary before we can confirm how effective black tea may be on humans with trichomoniasis.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Is trichomoniasis a sexually transmitted disease? Yes. Trichomoniasis is spread through sexual contact.
- How common is it? It is the most widespread non- viral STD in the world. According to WHO estimates, there are 276 million cases of trichomoniasis each year worldwide.
- What are the main symptoms? Some people do not suffer any symptoms but common symptoms include itching and sore genitals, pain during urination and intercourse and an unusual discharge from the vagina or penis.
- What are the usual treatments? Trichomoniasis is usually treated with a single course of antibiotics such as metronidazole.
- How long does it take to recover? Most people recover within a week or so of starting their course of antibiotics.
- Why use natural remedies? In some cases, the condition is resistant to antibiotic treatment. Natural remedies are also safer and less likely to cause any adverse side effects.
Trichomoniasis and Pregnancy
If you are pregnant and also have trichomoniasis, there are several risks of complications. First of all, there is a greater risk of your water breaking prematurely. There is also a greater risk that the baby will be delivered prematurely.
As well as premature delivery, babies born to mothers with the condition are likely to weigh less at birth. In some rare cases, a female baby can contract a trichomoniasis infection from their mother when they are moving through their birth canal.
If you want to avoid further infection in the future, practice the following steps to decrease your chances of developing trichomoniasis.
- Trichomoniasis is a sexually transmitted disease, so wearing a condom during intercourse will help prevent infection.
- Practice good hygiene. Be sure to wash before and after sexual intercourse.
- Trichomoniasis can survive outside of the body for 45 minutes; so make sure to take such precautionary measures not sharing towels and swimsuits with people who may be infected.
- Always shower right after swimming in a public pool.
- Avoiding sugar in your diet will help maintain the healthy functioning of your immune system.
- Enjoy a diet rich in fruit in veggies which will help you get all the necessary vitamins, minerals, nutrients, and fiber necessary to fighting and preventing infection. Try to get your daily recommended dose of vitamin A, C, and E to help keep a healthy immune system. If you find it difficult to incorporate these vitamins in your diet every day, try taking a multivitamin.
- When experiencing any unusual symptoms or infection, always see your physician.
- It is especially important to consult a doctor if you are pregnant and suspect you are suffering from trichomoniasis. If the infection is left untreated, premature birth may occur. Babies delivered from mothers suffering from trichomoniasis may also suffer from low birth weight.
- If trichomoniasis is left untreated, the infection may cause an abnormality in your cervical tissue and cells. As a result, this abnormal tissue will have to be removed. So at the first sign of infection, consult your physician right away.
- Always consult with your physician before using any home remedies to treat trichomoniasis.
- If your symptoms of trichomoniasis don’t clear up with any of the above remedies, consult your physician for further help.
- Before using any essential oil, do an allergy patch test on your skin a day or so before attempting treatment.
Comparison Chart for Lab tested Remedies
Myrrh would be our recommended 1st treatment. It is available in capsule form (like the study) and the study was on people–not in a lab.
The Zinc douche is another good option but to get a 1% solution (which the liquid form is about 0.75%) might be difficult or expensive.
Berberine was lab tested in a topical solution.
- Trichomoniasis is the most common STD in the world. The infection, which is caused by a parasite, can affect both men and women.
- Many people do not notice any symptoms whatsoever but common symptoms include a discharge from the vagina or penis, itching and pain during intercourse or urination.
- Once diagnosed, the condition is usually treated with a single course of antibiotics like metronidazole and typically clears up within a week.
- There are also a number of home remedies that can treat the infection. While many have not been thoroughly researched, there is evidence that some can be effective.
- Unfortunately, many of the studies done into the effectiveness of home remedies have been conducted in the laboratory and have yet to be replicated in humans.
- Preventive measure include wearing a condom during sexual intercourse, practicing good hygiene and making sure your immune system is strong with a healthy diet.
- It is especially important that you see your doctor if you are pregnant and have trichomoniasis. Trich during pregnancy can cause complications such as premature birth.