Vaginal discharge--comparison of clinical, laboratory and microbiological findings

Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand. 1994 Nov;73(10):802-8. doi: 10.3109/00016349409072509.


Of 101 fertile women (15-50 years of age) consulting in general practice due to vaginal discharge and/or genital malodor, bacterial vaginosis was diagnosed in 34% and vaginal candidiasis in 23%. The presence of Chlamydia trachomatis, Trichomonas vaginalis, genital herpes virus and Neisseria gonorrhoeae was demonstrated in 15%, 9%, 7%, and 1% of cases, respectively. No specific genital tract pathogens were found in 25 patients, where the clinical diagnosis was psychological factors (n = 5), intra-uterine device-associated discharge (n = 5), cytolytic vaginosis (n = 5), urinary tract infection (n = 3), or other/unknown causes (n = 7). In most cases diagnosis of bacterial vaginosis, vaginal candidiasis or trichomoniasis was established by clinical examination and simple office tests (pH indicator paper, amine test, microscopy of wet smear, yeast culture kit). C. trachomatis and N. gonorrhoeae were diagnosed by means of culture, cervicitis being diagnosed clinically in five of 15 cases with culture-confirmed chlamydial infection, while gonorrhoea was suspected from findings in a stained cervical smear. Sexually transmitted micro-organisms were detected in 16% of women with bacterial vaginosis or candidiasis. Of 29 women with sexually transmitted agents, 14% harbored more than one such organism.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Chlamydia Infections / diagnosis
  • Chlamydia Infections / microbiology*
  • Chlamydia trachomatis / isolation & purification
  • Female
  • Gonorrhea / diagnosis
  • Gonorrhea / microbiology*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Trichomonas Vaginitis / diagnosis
  • Trichomonas Vaginitis / microbiology*
  • Vagina / metabolism*
  • Vagina / microbiology
  • Vaginal Diseases / diagnosis
  • Vaginal Diseases / microbiology*