Trichomoniasis and adverse birth outcomes: a systematic review and meta-analysis

BJOG. 2021 Nov;128(12):1907-1915. doi: 10.1111/1471-0528.16774. Epub 2021 Jun 27.


Background: Trichomoniasis commonly affects women of childbearing age and has been linked to several adverse birth outcomes.

Objective: To elucidate the association between trichomoniasis in pregnant women and adverse birth outcomes, including preterm delivery, prelabour rupture of membranes and low birthweight.

Search strategy: MEDLINE, EMBASE and were systematically searched in December 2020 without time or language restrictions.

Selection criteria: Original research studies were included if they assessed at least one of the specified adverse birth outcomes in pregnant women with laboratory-diagnosed trichomoniasis.

Data collection and analysis: Estimates from included articles were either extracted or calculated and then pooled to produce a combined estimate of the association of trichomoniasis with each adverse birth outcome using the random effects model. Heterogeneity was assessed using the I2 statistic and Cochran's Q test.

Main results: Literature search produced 1658 publications after removal of duplicates (n = 770), with five additional publications identified by hand search. After screening titles and abstracts for relevance, full text of 84 studies was reviewed and 19 met inclusion criteria for meta-analysis. Significant associations were found between trichomoniasis and preterm delivery (OR 1.27; 95% CI 1.08-1.50), prelabour rupture of membranes (OR 1.87; 95% CI 1.53-2.29) and low birthweight (OR 2.12; 95% CI 1.15-3.91).

Conclusions: Trichomoniasis in pregnant women is associated with preterm delivery, prelabour rupture of membranes and low birthweight. Rigorous studies are needed to determine the impact of universal trichomoniasis screening and treatment during pregnancy on reducing perinatal morbidity.

Tweetable abstract: This systematic review and meta-analysis found that in the setting of pregnancy, trichomoniasis is significantly associated with multiple adverse birth outcomes, including preterm delivery, low birthweight, and prelabour rupture of membranes.

Keywords: Adverse birth outcomes; pregnancy; trichomoniasis.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Fetal Membranes, Premature Rupture / parasitology
  • Humans
  • Infant, Low Birth Weight
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Parasitic / parasitology*
  • Pregnancy Outcome*
  • Premature Birth / parasitology
  • Trichomonas Vaginitis / complications*
  • Trichomonas vaginalis*