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Trop Parasitol. 2013 Jul;3(2):135-9. doi: 10.4103/2229-5070.122140.

Spectrum of vaginal discharge in a tertiary care setting.

Author information

1
Department of Dermatology, STD and Leprosy, Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research, Puducherry, India.
2
Department of Microbiology, Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research, Puducherry, India.
3
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research, Puducherry, India.

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

Vaginal discharge is one of the common reasons for gynecological consultation. Many of the causes of vaginitis have a disturbed vaginal microbial ecosystem associated with them. Effective treatment of vaginal discharge requires that the etiologic diagnosis be established and identifying the same offers a precious input to syndromic management and provides an additional strategy for human immunodeficiency virus prevention. The present study was thus carried out to determine the various causes of vaginal discharge in a tertiary care setting.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

A total of 400 women presenting with vaginal discharge of age between 20 and 50 years, irrespective of marital status were included in this study and women who had used antibiotics or vaginal medication in the previous 14 days and pregnant women were excluded.

RESULTS:

Of the 400 women with vaginal discharge studied, a diagnosis was established in 303 women. Infectious causes of vaginal discharge were observed in 207 (51.75%) women. Among them, bacterial vaginosis was the most common cause seen in 105 (26.25%) women. The other infections observed were candidiasis alone (61, 15.25%), trichomoniasis alone (12, 3%), mixed infections (22, 5.5%) and mucopurulent cervicitis (7 of the 130 cases looked for, 8.46%). Among the non-infectious causes, 72 (18%) women had physiological vaginal discharge and 13 (3.3%) women had cervical in situ cancers/carcinoma cervix.

CONCLUSION:

The pattern of infectious causes of vaginal discharge observed in our study was comparable with the other studies in India. Our study emphasizes the need for including Papanicolaou smear in the algorithm for evaluation of vaginal discharge, as it helps establish the etiology of vaginal discharge reliably and provides a valuable opportunity to screen for cervical malignancies.

KEYWORDS:

Bacterial vaginosis; Trichomonas vaginalis; candidiasis; mucopurulent cervicitis; trichomoniasis; vaginal discharge

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