ABSTRACT: Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), the infection and inflammation of the female genital tract, results in serious reproductive morbidity including infertility and ectopic pregnancy. Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is a complex alteration of the vaginal flora that has been implicated in PID. The role of BV in the etiology and pathogenesis of PID has not been studied extensively. Our objective was to extensively review data related to the relationship between BV and PID (n = 19 studies). Several studies found a link between BV and cervicitis, endometritis, and salpingitis. Furthermore, it seems that some BV-associated organisms are associated with PID, whereas others are not. However, studies demonstrating an independent association between BV-associated organisms and PID are sparse. In addition, a causal association between BV and PID has not been established. Prospective studies are needed to further delineate the role of BV in PID, with particular focus on individual BV-associated organisms.
From the *Department of Epidemiology, Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, and†Department of Pediatrics, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, PA.