Asymptomatic bacterial vaginosis and intermediate flora as risk factors for adverse pregnancy outcome

Best Pract Res Clin Obstet Gynaecol. 2007 Jun;21(3):375-90. doi: 10.1016/j.bpobgyn.2006.12.005. Epub 2007 Jan 22.


We updated a previously published meta-analysis to evaluate bacterial vaginosis (BV) and intermediate vaginal flora as risk factors for adverse pregnancy outcome. Selection criteria were original, published, English-language reports of cohort studies or control groups of clinical trials including women <37 weeks' gestation with intact amniotic membranes. All women had to be screened for BV, diagnosed either by clinical criteria or by criteria based on Gram-stain findings. Outcomes were preterm delivery, late miscarriages, maternal or neonatal infections, and perinatal mortality. Fourteen new studies with results for 10,286 patients were included, so that results for 30,518 patients in 32 studies were available for this meta-analysis. BV more than doubled the risk of preterm delivery in asymptomatic patients (OR: 2.16, 95% CI: 1.56-3.00) and in patients with symptoms of preterm labor (OR: 2.38, 95% CI: 1.02-5.58). BV also significantly increased the risk of late miscarriages (OR: 6.32, 95% CI: 3.65-10.94) and maternal infection (OR: 2.53, 95% CI 1.26-5.08) in asymptomatic patients. No significant results were calculated for the outcomes of neonatal infection or perinatal mortality. Also, intermediate vaginal flora was not significantly associated with any outcome included. The results of this meta-analysis confirm that BV is a risk factor for preterm delivery and maternal infectious morbidity and a strong risk factor for late miscarriage.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis

MeSH terms

  • Abortion, Spontaneous / etiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Perinatal Mortality
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious / microbiology*
  • Premature Birth / etiology*
  • Risk Factors
  • Vaginosis, Bacterial / microbiology*