Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2009 Nov;18(11):1817-24. doi: 10.1089/jwh.2009.1378.

Changes in the vaginal microenvironment with metronidazole treatment for bacterial vaginosis in early pregnancy.

Author information

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington 98195, USA.



Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is associated with preterm delivery, but there is little evidence that treatment improves pregnancy outcomes. We examined whether oral or vaginal metronidazole treatment for BV in early pregnancy was more effective in restoring the normal vaginal environment.


This was a randomized controlled trial comparing oral and intravaginal metronidazole for treatment of BV in early pregnancy (<20 weeks). Vaginal samples collected at baseline and 4 weeks after treatment were evaluated using gram stain, culture, colorimetric detection of sialidase, and immunoassay for measurement of proinflammatory cytokines interleukins-1beta, -6, -8 (IL-1beta, IL-6, IL-8) and secretory leukocyte protease inhibitor (SLPI). We compared the effect of treatment between groups (using chi-square and t test) and within individuals (McNemar's test).


Of 126 subjects, 108 (86%) completed follow-up (55 oral, 53 intravaginal). Of the study population, 34% achieved therapeutic cure, and this was not different between treatment groups. BV-associated bacteria were significantly reduced in both groups, but few subjects regained colonization with protective lactobacilli. Among women who achieved therapeutic cure, the level of IL-1beta dropped significantly (p < 0.001) and SLPI increased (p = 0.003). More women in the vaginal treatment group had undetectable sialidase after treatment (p = 0.013).


Treatment with oral or intravaginal metronidazole in early pregnancy reduced colonization with BV-associated bacteria but was not effective in achieving therapeutic cure or in restoring healthy vaginal lactobacilli.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center