The effect of vaginal douching cessation on bacterial vaginosis: a pilot study

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Objective: The objective of the study was to evaluate the risk for bacterial vaginosis (BV) in a douching cessation trial. Study Design: Thirty-nine reproductive-age women who reported use of douche products were enrolled into a 20-week study consisting of a 4 week douching observation (phase I) followed by 12-weeks of douching cessation (phase II). In phase III, participants then chose to resume douching or continue cessation for the remaining 4 weeks. Self-collected vaginal samples were obtained twice weekly in the first 16 weeks, and 1 sample was collected during week 20 (1107 samples total). BV was diagnosed by Nugent score of 7 or greater. Conditional logistic regression was used to evaluate douching cessation on the risk of BV. Results: The adjusted odds ratio (aOR) for BV in the douching cessation phase, as compared with the douching-observation phase was 0.76 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.33 to 1.76). Among women who reported their primary reason for douching was to cleanse after menstruation, BV was significantly reduced in douching cessation (aOR:0.23; 95% CI, 0.12 to 0.44). Conclusion: Vaginal douching cessation may reduce the risk for BV in a subset of women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)628.e1-628.e7
JournalAmerican journal of obstetrics and gynecology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2008


  • bacterial vaginosis
  • intravaginal cleansing
  • intravaginal washing
  • vaginal douching

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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