Background: Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is the most prevalent vaginal disorder in adult women worldwide. A number of clinical studies indicate that re-establishment of the physiological ecosystem by re-colonization of vaginal mucosa by lactobacilli may be an effective therapy for BV both after initial antimicrobial therapy or when given alone. A vaginal pH <4.5 is considered physiological and its measurement has been reported as an objective parameter, very sensitive to alterations of vaginal microflora and correlated with clinically relevant BV.
Objective: The aims of this work were to assess the effectiveness of a long-term (24 months) intravaginal treatment with Lactobacillus rhamnosus (NORMOGIN) on the vaginal pH and on the clinical symptoms in a group of 40 women affected by BV diagnosed by the Amsel criteria.
Method: A prospective open clinical trial was performed in 40 consecutive cases evaluated for B.V. by the Amsel criteria.
Results: Vaginal pH was above the physiological value of 4.5 in 36 out of 40 patients at the first visit. It returned under 4.5 value in 24/40 and 32/40 women after 12 and 24 months of treatment, respectively. pH values were significantly decreased at 12 month treatment (P < 0.001) and further reduction in pH values was found at 24 months of treatment (P < 0.02 vs. 12 months). The gradual return to a vaginal physiological pH was associated with a reduction of the intensity of symptoms as shown by the decrease in the symptoms score.
Conclusions: The present study supports the use of pH measurement for sensitive, objective, and simple therapy follow-up in women with BV and shows that long-term administration of vaginal tablets containing Lactobacillus rhamnosus represents an effective and safe treatment for restoring the physiological vaginal pH and controlling BV symptoms.