Use of vaginal pH in diagnosis of infections and its association with reproductive manifestations

J Clin Lab Anal. 2008;22(5):375-9. doi: 10.1002/jcla.20273.


Increase in vaginal secretion pH is an indicator of bacterial vaginosis (BV), but is yet to be in use as a diagnostic tool by clinicians. Similarly, no reports are available on the effect of cervical chlamydia infection and different reproductive manifestations on vaginal secretion pH. This study evaluated the use of vaginal pH for screening of BV, the effect of Chlamydia trachomatis (C. trachomatis) infection, and different reproductive manifestations on vaginal pH of women attending the gynecology outpatient department of a general hospital. Vaginal pH was recorded while diagnosing infections in 358 women, among which 45 were with repeated spontaneous abortion, 79 with infertility, 185 had sign and symptoms of lower genital tract infection, and 49 had no history or symptom of any complications or infections. Normal vaginal pH, BV, and C. trachomatis infection were observed in 72.6, 21.5, and 10.1% of women, respectively. BV and C. trachomatis were observed in 78.6 and 4.1% of women, respectively, with high vaginal pH; 12.3% of women with normal vaginal pH had C. trachomatis infection. C. trachomatis infection or different reproductive manifestations do not lead to change in vaginal pH but high vaginal pH correlated with BV and should be used as a simple tool for its diagnosis.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Abortion, Habitual / epidemiology
  • Abortion, Habitual / microbiology
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Comorbidity
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • India / epidemiology
  • Infertility, Female / epidemiology
  • Infertility, Female / microbiology
  • Trichomonas Vaginitis / diagnosis*
  • Trichomonas Vaginitis / epidemiology
  • Trichomonas Vaginitis / microbiology
  • Vagina / microbiology
  • Vagina / pathology*
  • Vaginosis, Bacterial / diagnosis*
  • Vaginosis, Bacterial / epidemiology
  • Vaginosis, Bacterial / microbiology