Predictors of bacterial vaginosis in adolescent women who douche

Sex Transm Dis. 2004 Jul;31(7):433-6. doi: 10.1097/01.olq.0000129948.91055.9f.


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.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior*
  • Alabama / epidemiology
  • Animals
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Neisseria gonorrhoeae / isolation & purification
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Sexual Behavior*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Trichomonas vaginalis / isolation & purification
  • Vaginal Douching / adverse effects*
  • Vaginosis, Bacterial / epidemiology*
  • Vaginosis, Bacterial / etiology
  • Vaginosis, Bacterial / prevention & control*
  • Vaginosis, Bacterial / urine