Risk factors for bacterial vaginosis (BV) include douching and sexual activity, although the exact cause of BV is unknown.
The goal of this study was to determine the relative significance of douching as a risk factor for BV.
Two hundred fifty adolescent women who regularly douched were enrolled into a randomized douching intervention trial. Behavioral questionnaires and testing for sexually transmitted diseases and BV were performed. Associations between baseline characteristics and behaviors were compared for teens who were BV-positive and BV-negative at baseline.
Positive correlates of BV included multiple partners, recent sexual intercourse, douching after menses, recent douching, and gonorrhea. Of these, douching after menses showed the strongest association (odds ratio, 5.11; 95% confidence interval, 1.99-13.15) in a multivariate analysis.
Douching after menses was strongly correlated with BV; however, difficulty remains in trying to evaluate douching and sexual behavior independently.
Department of Medicine, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, Alabama 35294-0007, USA. firstname.lastname@example.org