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Revista Peruana de Medicina Experimental y Salud Publica

Print version ISSN 1726-4634


CHAVEZ, Natividad et al. Vaginal douching and other risks for bacterial vaginosis. Rev. perú. med. exp. salud publica [online]. 2009, vol.26, n.3, pp.299-306. ISSN 1726-4634.

Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is an infection characterized by a change in the micro flora of the vagina. BV has been associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes and increased risk of acquiring sexually transmitted infections (STI). Objective. To identifiy the association of douching and other behavioral risk factors in relation to BV. Material and methods. This cross-sectional study was carried out among 1252 women attending in 3 public hospitals and one specialized institute in Lima, Peru in 1997. A structured questionnaire was used to collect information on socio-demographic and lifestyle characteristics of women. BV was diagnosed by the Nugent’s score. Logistic regression procedures were employed to estimate adjusted odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI). Results. Mean age of participants was 25.1 ± 4.7 and 23.4% had more than 11 years of formal education. The prevalence of BV was 20.1% and significantly associated with a number of behavioral risk factors. Women who practice douching (OR: 2.28; 95% CI: 1.0-5.0), having two or more sexual partners (OR: 2.0; 95% CI: 1.2-3.5) and who started sexual intercourse at a younger age (OR:1.4; 95% CI: 1.0-1.9) have more risk to get BV. Conclusion. Vaginal douching is a risk factor associated with BV among Peruvian women. Programs aimed at women’s health must address the adverse health outcomes associated with douching.

Keywords : Vaginosis; bacterial; Vaginal douching; Sexual partners; Risk factors; Peru.

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