Sexually Transmitted Diseases

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Sexually Transmitted Diseases:

Predictors of Bacterial Vaginosis in Adolescent Women Who Douche

Schwebke, Jane R. MD*; Desmond, Renee A. PhD*; Oh, M Kim MD†

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Objective: Risk factors for bacterial vaginosis (BV) include douching and sexual activity, although the exact cause of BV is unknown.

Goal: The goal of this study was to determine the relative significance of douching as a risk factor for BV.

Study Design: Two hundred fifty adolescent women who regularly douched were enrolled into a randomized douching intervention trial. Behavioral questionnaires and testing for sexually transmitted diseases and BV were performed. Associations between baseline characteristics and behaviors were compared for teens who were BV-positive and BV-negative at baseline.

Results: Positive correlates of BV included multiple partners, recent sexual intercourse, douching after menses, recent douching, and gonorrhea. Of these, douching after menses showed the strongest association (odds ratio, 5.11; 95% confidence interval, 1.99–13.15) in a multivariate analysis.

Conclusions: Douching after menses was strongly correlated with BV; however, difficulty remains in trying to evaluate douching and sexual behavior independently.

© Copyright 2004 American Sexually Transmitted Diseases Association


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