Wewalka G, Stary A, Bosse B, Duerr HE, Reimer K
A prospective, randomized clinical trial was performed to study the efficacy of povidone iodine (Betadine) suppositories for the treatment of bacterial vaginosis (BV) in comparison to capsules containing lactobacilli (Döderlein Med). Seventy patients with BV included in the study were randomly assigned to be either treated with povidone iodine suppositories or lactobacilli. Patients were treated once a day for 5 days. Initial examinations took place on the first day of the study with follow-up examinations on days 8 and 15. The examinations included clinical parameters, patient evaluation, secretion screens, and quantitative and qualitative microbiological tests of vaginal flora. Both treatment groups showed improvement of clinical parameters, condition of secretions and subjective state of health. At day 15 there was a trend towards a better efficacy of the treatment with povidone iodine but this was not significant. However, patients with acute BV treated with povidone iodine had significantly better scores after 15 days. Both treatments were well tolerated. The microbiological examinations showed an increase of the mean number of lactobacilli in the vagina on day 8 after initiation of treatment with lactobacilli, but a decrease on day 15. Contrary to that the lactobacilli counts from patients treated with povidone iodine suppositories decreased after the first week but increased in the second one. Potentially pathogenicgerms, e.g. Gardnerella, Bacteroides and Enterobacteria were reduced in a higher extent and with a longer lasting effect after treatment with povidone iodine suppositories than with capsules containing lactobacilli. The results of this study show that native lactobacilli rapidly re-colonize after the antiseptic treatment with povidone iodine. Therefore, there is no need to use lactobacilli in addition.