Sexual behaviors and other risk factors for Candida vulvovaginitis

J Womens Health Gend Based Med. 2000 Jul-Aug;9(6):645-55. doi: 10.1089/15246090050118170.


Sexual behaviors are associated with many genital infections, but the role of sexual variables as risk factors for Candida vulvovaginitis has not been clearly determined. To assess the association between sexual behaviors and other risk factors with the presence of Candida vulvovaginitis, we performed a case-control study comparing these potential risk factors in women with and without culture-documented Candida vulvovaginitis in two Midwestern community-based medical offices. Participants included 156 women with Candida vulvovaginitis and 92 controls, ages 18-60. Risk factors for Candida vulvovaginitis, including sexual and partnership behaviors, demographic data, past genital infections, exposures, and diet, were investigated using logistic regression. The presence of Candida vulvovaginitis was positively associated with recent cunnilingus (odds ratio [OR] = 2.22 for five times a month compared with no times, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.36, 3.84), but was less likely in women who masturbated with saliva in the previous month (OR = 0.30 if masturbated five times vs. no times, 95% CI 0.09, 0.99). Other independent risk factors included knowing the sexual partner a shorter period of time (OR = 1.56 for 1 year vs. 5 years, 95% CI 1.16, 2.13) and lower milk ingestion (OR = 3.57 for no servings vs. two servings per day, 95% CI 2.00, 6.67). Increased number of sexual partners, early age at first intercourse, and increased frequency of intercourse are not related to risk.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Animals
  • Candidiasis, Vulvovaginal / etiology*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Diet
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Milk
  • Regression Analysis
  • Risk Factors
  • Sexual Behavior*