Prevalence and risk factors of bacterial vaginosis during the first trimester of pregnancy in a large French population-based study

Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol. 2012 Jul;163(1):30-4. doi: 10.1016/j.ejogrb.2012.04.007. Epub 2012 May 7.


Objectives: Bacterial vaginosis is a risk factor for preterm delivery. Its prevalence and risk factors in Europe are not well known. Our objective was to assess both in early pregnancy.

Study design: As part of the PREMEVA randomized controlled trial, this population-based study included 14,193 women screened before 14 weeks' gestation for bacterial vaginosis in the 160 laboratories of the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region in France. Bacterial vaginosis was defined by a Nugent score ≥ 7. Data were collected about maternal tobacco use, age, education, and history of preterm birth. We estimated the prevalence of bacterial vaginosis and used a multilevel logistic regression model to identify significant risk factors for it.

Results: Among the 14,193 women assessed before 14 weeks' gestation, the prevalence of bacterial vaginosis was 7.1% (95% CI: 6.6-7.5%). In the multivariate analysis, smoking during pregnancy tobacco (adjusted OR: 1.38; 95% CI: 1.19-1.60), maternal age 18-19 years (adjusted OR: 1.40; 95% CI: 1.01-1.93), and educational level (completed only primary school: adjusted OR: 1.77; 95% CI: 1.35-2.31; completed only secondary school: adjusted OR: 1.27; 95% CI: 1.10-1.48) were independent risk factors for bacterial vaginosis. History of preterm delivery was not an independent risk factor of bacterial vaginosis: adjusted OR: 1.15; 95% CI: 0.90-1.47.

Conclusion: In a large sample of women in their first trimester of pregnancy in France, the prevalence of bacterial vaginosis was lower than rates reported in other countries, but risk factors were similar: young age, low level of education, and tobacco use during pregnancy. These results should be considered in future strategies to reduce preterm delivery.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Educational Status
  • Female
  • France / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature
  • Logistic Models
  • Pilot Projects
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Trimester, First*
  • Premature Birth
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Vaginosis, Bacterial / epidemiology*