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Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol. 2004 Nov 10;117(1):76-81.

Novel insight into the vaginal microflora in postmenopausal women under hormone replacement therapy as analyzed by PCR-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis.

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Canadian Research and Development Centre for Probiotics, The Lawson Health Research Institute, University of Western Ontario, 268 Grosvenor Street, London, Ont., Canada N6A 4V2.



A study was conducted to use new molecular technologies to identify the vaginal bacterial species of postmenopausal women under oral estrogen therapy (Premarin-conjugated equine estrogen, CEE).


Nineteen postmenopausal women under CEE treatment were recruited and their vaginal flora were analyzed during 3 months, using polymerase chain reaction in combination with denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) and sequencing of DNA fragments.


Sixty-eight percent of the women presented with a 'Normal' Nugent score at the first sampling time (d0). All the subjects had bacterial species detected in their vaginal flora. Lactobacillus species were detected in all samples. Moreover, 53% of the women had lactobacilli exclusively at d0. Two Lactobacillus species were dominant, and were recovered from the majority of samples (L. iners and L. crispatus). Forty-four percent of the samples also contained other bacterial species, which were potential urogenital pathogens. Candida albicans was detected in 26% of the subjects. The vaginal flora of the women under CEE treatment were different from that of postmenopausal women not receiving hormone therapy, but very similar to premenopausal women.


The present study indicates that one benefit from hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is the restoration of a lactobacilli vaginal flora associated with a protective effect against urogenital infections.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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