Can intrauterine contraceptive devices be a Candida albicans reservoir?

Contraception. 2008 May;77(5):355-9. doi: 10.1016/j.contraception.2008.01.007. Epub 2008 Mar 19.


Background: The in vitro adherence of Candida albicans isolated from vaginal exudates of patients with vulvovaginal candidiasis (VVC) to intrauterine contraceptive devices (IUDs) and biofilm formation capacity were evaluated.

Study design: This research was conducted with two vaginal C. albicans isolates. The adherence on IUD by both radiomarked adhesion assay and scanning electron microscopy, and the biofilm production capacity by spectrophotometric method were determined.

Results: The yeasts adhered strongly to different parts of the IUD (covered with copper wire, without copper wire and tail), and there was no significant difference in the rates of adhesion to the different parts (p=.7771). The vaginal yeasts showed a high capacity to produce biofilm.

Conclusions: Two vaginal yeasts evaluated showed a high capacity to produce biofilm on IUD. It was confirmed that all parts of the IUD allow the adherence of yeasts. The adherence of C. albicans to different parts of the IUD and its formation of biofilm seems to be important attributes influencing the occurrence of VVC and recurrent VVC.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biofilms*
  • Candida albicans / isolation & purification*
  • Candida albicans / physiology
  • Candidiasis, Vulvovaginal / microbiology*
  • Equipment Contamination
  • Female
  • Humans
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Intrauterine Devices, Copper / microbiology*
  • Prosthesis-Related Infections*