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Anonymous on August 8, 2011

Is it okay to have sex while being treated for trichomoniasis?

I’m a 20-year-old female and today I was diagnosed with trichomoniasis. My doctor prescribed medication for me and my boyfriend...is it okay if we have sex during the treatment period?

answered by Lisa Oldson, MD on August 8, 2011

Thanks for your question. Any time you aren’t sure about your doctor’s instructions, I encourage you to call your doctor for clarification. Recommendations can vary based on the person. With that in mind, I can offer some typical guidelines...

Can you have sex while getting treated for trichomoniasis? After a person infected with trichomoniasis begins treatment, it typically takes about a week for the infection to clear up. To be on the safe side, it’s a good idea to not have sex of any kind during treatment.

Researchers have found that waiting a week after treatment to start having sex again decreases the possibility of partners re-infecting each other. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention agree, adding that – if you and your partner start treatment on different days – you should wait one week after the last person finishes treatment before you have sex.

When you do have sex again, it’s – as always – a good idea to practice safer sex. Even after your trichomoniasis has been treated and cleared, I encourage you and your boyfriend to use condoms or dental dams every time you have oral, anal or vaginal sex.

Unless you’re absolutely sure that your relationship is monogamous, and unless you’ve both been recently tested for a full panel of STDs, you may also be at risk for other STDs...in fact, trichomoniasis is often accompanied by chlamydia and gonorrhea. And studies show that trichomoniasis also makes women more susceptible to contracting HIV if you’re exposed to the virus.

Because you’ve been diagnosed with trichomoniasis, I would encourage you to talk to your doctor about other STD testing...including chlamydia, gonorrhea and HIV. You can learn more about the risk factors, symptoms, tests and treatment of these STDs in our Expert Guide to STD Basics.

I hope this helped clear up some of your questions about trichomoniasis treatment. For more information, check out our Trichomoniasis Overview.

Related info:

Lisa Oldson, MD

Dr. Oldson is Medical Director of the Analyte Physicians Group. She is on staff at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, as well as Clinical Instructor at the Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University. Her areas of expertise include STDs (with a particular clinical emphasis on herpes), women's health, preventive medicine, diabetes, obesity and weight management, and mood and anxiety disorders. Dr. Oldson was educated at Rush Medical College and completed her residency at Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke's Medical Center in Chicago, IL.

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