How to Deal With Trichomoniasis in Pregnancy

About 7 million people in the United States become infected with trichomoniasis every year. The infection is spread through sexual contact and is the result of a microscopic parasite. Over 120,000 pregnant women are affected at an annual basis in the U.S., and need medical attention to prevent harm to their unborn child.

Symptoms and Effects of Trichomoniasis in Pregnancy

Sick pregnant woman

Symptoms of Trichomoniasis During Pregnancy

Some women do not have symptoms with trichomoniasis during pregnancy. When signs are present, they may be in the form of green or yellow-tinged, frothy vaginal discharge. It may be uncomfortable to have intercourse or urinate. Your vaginal area may itch, be red or irritated, and it may have an offensive odor. The condition may even cause spotting after sex. Abdominal pain is less common, but it can occur. 

How Will Trichomoniasis Affect Your Baby?

Even through trichomoniasis may never show symptoms during your pregnancy, it can still affect your unborn baby and your pregnancy. Some of the effects of the condition can be quite serious.

  • Premature Birth: Trichomoniasis in pregnancy can cause premature labor and birth.
  • Low Birth Weight: The condition may affect the weight of your baby, causing it to be underweight.
  • Risk of Infection: When you are infected with trichomoniasis, your baby may become infected as well. Though rare, if it occurs, your baby can be given medication to cure it. Also, you are more vulnerable to contracting HIV when you have trichomoniasis.

How Is Trichomoniasis Diagnosed?

Trichomoniasis during pregnancy can be diagnosed by your doctor through a vaginal discharge sample. First, your doctor will examine the discharge through a microscope for the presence of the parasite. Next, additional tests may be conducted on the sample to confirm the disease. These may include a nucleic acid amplification test, a culture test or a rapid antigen test.

How Is Trichomoniasis Treated During Pregnancy?

If you are pregnant and are showing signs of a trichomoniasis infection, you should see your doctor as soon as possible. Since pregnant women are not normally tested for the condition without cause, it could be present long enough to hurt your baby. Once diagnosed, you should get treatment right away.

You will be treated with a prescription of oral metronidazole. Your sexual partner will have to be treated as well, whether symptoms are present or not. The medication will not harm your unborn baby.

You cannot have sex until you and your partner have both completed treatment, have taken all your medications and are free of symptoms. If you do not wait, you have a chance of passing the infection back and forth to each other.

How to Prevent Trichomoniasis in Pregnancy

The only way to completely avoid trichomoniasis during pregnancy is to eliminate all forms of sex – vaginal, oral and anal – from your life.

However, if you do have an active sex life, consider the following to decrease your risk of contracting the infection:

  • Always use a latex condom. Use it correctly every time you have intercourse. A condom cannot protect you completely because the parasite can be present in areas of the genital region not covered by it.
  • Have your partner tested for sexually transmitted diseases and if negative, maintain a monogamous relationship. This means your partner cannot have sex with anyone else besides you, and you also only have sex with your partner.

Try These Home Remedies

Before administering any type of home remedy, you should talk to your doctor. Once treatment is done and your symptoms do not go away, get medical treatment right away.

1.  Garlic

Garlic bulbs

For centuries, garlic has been known for its antibiotic property. With this in mind, it has been used for treatment of trichomoniasis in pregnancy. Simply insert a clove of peeled garlic into your vagina. Keep it there overnight and remove in the morning. You can also try chewing on garlic occasionally for a couple of days if you do not want to insert it.

2.  Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil

Tea tree oil is also used as treatment for infections. It has been shown to have antibiotic and antimicrobial properties. Having the ability to get rid of the parasite that causes trichomoniasis, it can be applied to your vagina and surrounding area. 

3.  Yogurt


Yogurt is full of minerals, proteins and even good bacteria. One of the bacteria is lactobacillus which has the ability to fight off infection and gives your immunity a boost. Try consuming yogurt on a daily basis to see if it helps. You can also apply it directly on your vagina to get instant relief.

4.  Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar

Highly acidic apple cider vinegar makes for a highly effective natural disinfectant. Make sure to dilute with water before using. Regular application may help you get rid of the infection.

5.  Coconut Oil

Coconut oil

It has been proven that applying coconut oil to your vagina and the surrounding area can cure trichomoniasis by killing the parasite. The antimicrobial property of coconut can also aid in symptom relief, such as itching and irritation.