Objective: The purpose of the study was to evaluate the influence of antibiotic use on the prevalence of symptomatic vulvovaginal candidiasis.
Study design: This is a case-control study of 684 women with symptomatic vulvovaginal candidiasis who were enrolled at a vaginitis clinic and 901 control subjects who attended a cytologic screening service.
Results: The prevalence of antibiotic use in the month preceding the visit was 19.3% (132/684) among patients with Candida infection compared with 11.9% (107/901) among control subjects (P <.001). After adjustment by logistic regression for potential confounders (age, marital status, and contraceptive method used), the odds ratio for vulvovaginal candidiasis among patients who reported antibiotic use in the month preceding the visit was 1. 75 (95% confidence interval 1.33 to 2.32). No differences in risk were found by type of antibiotic used. The likelihood of vulvovaginal candidiasis was directly related to the duration of antibiotic use and was higher in patients who had a history of repeated episodes of Candida vaginal infection.
Conclusions: Antibiotic use is a short-term risk factor for symptomatic vulvovaginal candidiasis, either as a first episode or in the form of recurrence. Increasing duration of antibiotic use is directly related with an increased prevalence of Candida vaginal infection.