Reproductive tract infections: prevalence and risk factors in rural Bangladesh

Bull World Health Organ. 2002;80(3):180-8.


Objective: To determine the prevalence of and risk factors for reproductive tract infections among men and women in a rural community in Bangladesh.

Methods: In the Matlab area a systematic sample of married non-pregnant women aged 15-50 years was drawn from a comprehensive household registration system for married women. A systematic sample of married and unmarried men in the same age group was drawn from a census-derived demographic surveillance list. Private interviews were conducted with 804 women in a clinic, and cervical, vaginal, urinary and serological samples were collected. Urine and blood specimens were obtained from 969 men who were interviewed at home.

Findings: The prevalence of bacterial and viral reproductive tract infections was low to moderate. For example, fewer than 1% of the women had a cervical infection. No cases of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection were found. However, among men there was a high level of reported risk behaviour and a low level of protection against infection.

Conclusion: A low prevalence of reproductive tract infections, coupled with a high level of reported risk behaviour, indicated a need for primary programmes that would prevent an increase in the incidence of reproductive tract infections, sexually transmitted infections and HIV infection.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Bangladesh / epidemiology
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infections / epidemiology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Public Health
  • Risk Factors
  • Risk-Taking
  • Rural Population