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Obstet Gynecol. 2004 Oct;104(4):761-9.

Bacterial vaginosis and risk of pelvic inflammatory disease.

Author information

  • 1University of Pittsburgh, Graduate School of Public Health, Magee-Womens Hospital and Research Institute, Pittsburgh, PA 15261, USA. repro@pitt.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Bacterial vaginosis commonly is found in women with pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), but it is unclear whether bacterial vaginosis leads to incident PID.

METHODS:

Women (n = 1,179) from 5 U.S. centers were evaluated for a median of 3 years. Every 6-12 months, vaginal swabs were obtained for gram stain and culture of microflora. A vaginal microflora gram stain score of 7-10 was categorized as bacterial vaginosis. Pelvic inflammatory disease was diagnosed by presence of either histologic endometritis or pelvic pain and tenderness plus one of the following: oral temperature greater than 38.3 degrees C; sedimentation rate greater than 15 mm/hour; white blood count greater than 10,000; or lower genital tract detection of leukorrhea, mucopus, or Neisseria gonorrhoeae or Chlamydia trachomatis.

RESULTS:

After adjustment for relevant demographic and lifestyle factors, baseline bacterial vaginosis was not associated with the development of PID (adjusted hazard ratio 0.89, 95% confidence interval 0.55-1.45). Carriage of bacterial vaginosis in the previous 6 months before a diagnosis (adjusted risk ratio 1.31, 95% confidence interval 0.71-2.42) also was not significantly associated with PID. Similarly, neither absence of hydrogen peroxide-producing Lactobacillus nor high levels of Gardnerella vaginalis significantly increased the risk of PID. Dense growth of pigmented, anaerobic gram-negative rods in the 6 months before diagnosis did significantly increase a woman's risk of PID (P =.04). One subgroup of women, women with 2 or more recent sexual partners, demonstrated associations among bacterial vaginosis, Gardnerella vaginalis, anaerobic gram-negative rods, and PID.

CONCLUSION:

In this cohort of high-risk women, after adjustment for confounding factors, we found no overall increased risk of developing incident PID among women with bacterial vaginosis.

LEVEL OF EVIDENCE:

II-2

PMID:
15458899
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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