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Appl Environ Microbiol. 1986 Feb;51(2):333-9.

Methods for quantitative and qualitative evaluation of vaginal microflora during menstruation.

Abstract

The quantitative and qualitative changes in the bacterial flora of the vagina during menstruation have received inadequate study. Similarly, the effect of vaginal tampons on the microbial flora as well as the relationship between the microbial flora of the vagina and that of the tampon has not been adequately evaluated. The purposes of the present study were (i) to develop quantitative methods for studying the vaginal flora and the flora of tampons obtained during menstruation and (ii) to determine whether there were differences between the microflora of the tampon and that of the vaginal vault. Tampon and swab samples were obtained at various times from eight young healthy volunteers for 8 to 10 menstrual cycles. Samples consisted of swabs from women wearing menstrual pads compared with swab and tampon samples taken at various times during the menstrual cycle. Samples were analyzed for total facultative and anaerobic bacterial counts, and the six dominant bacterial species in each culture were identified. Statistical evaluation of the results indicates that total bacterial counts decreased during menstruation and that swab and tampon samples yielded similar total counts per unit weight of sample. The numbers of bacteria in tampons tended to be lower than in swabs taken at the same time. Overall, during menstruation, the concentrations of lactobacilli declined, but otherwise there was little difference among the species found during menstruation compared with those found in intermenstrual samples. Cotton tampons had little discernible effect on the microbial flora.

PMID:
3954346
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC238869
Free PMC Article
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