Bacterial vaginosis is the most common vaginal
infection among women of childbearing age in the United States. Although
bacterial vaginosis is not a sexually transmitted disease, it rarely develops
in women who have never been sexually active.1
half of women who have bacterial vaginosis do not have
As many as 23% of pregnant
women are diagnosed with bacterial vaginosis.3
Bacterial vaginosis during pregnancy more than doubles the risk of preterm
Black women have higher rates
of bacterial vaginosis than those of any other racial or ethnic group.5
sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) have a higher
rate of bacterial vaginosis than women without STDs.5
Women with only female sex partners have a higher rate of
bacterial vaginosis than women with only male sex partners.5
Bacterial vaginosis recurs in about 1
out of 3 treated women.2
Sexually abused children are known to have
developed bacterial vaginosis.6
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2002).
Diseases characterized by vaginal discharge section of Sexually transmitted
diseases treatment guidelines. MMWR, 51(RR-6): 42-48.
Joesoef MR, Schmid G (2005). Bacterial vaginosis,
search date March 2004. Online version of BMJ Clinical
Evidence. Also available online:
Guise JM, et al. (2001). Screening for bacterial
vaginosis in pregnancy. American Journal of Preventive
Medicine, 20(3, Suppl): 62-72.
Leitich H, et al. (2003). Bacterial vaginosis as a
risk factor for preterm delivery: A meta-analysis. American
Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 189(1): 139-147.
Schmid GP (1999). The epidemiology of bacterial
vaginosis. International Journal of Gynecology and
Obstetrics, 67: S17-S20.
McGregor JA, French JI (2000). Bacterial vaginosis in pregnancy. Obstetrical and Gynecological Survey, 55(5): S1-S19.
Caroline Rea, RN, BS, MS
Susan Van Houten, RN, BSN, MBA
Pat Truman, MATC
Primary Medical Reviewer
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer
Jeanne Marrazzo, MD, MPH - Infectious Disease
March 17, 2008
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
March 17, 2008
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