Prevalence of bacterial vaginosis among sexually active women attending the CDC central clinic Tiko, south west region, Cameroon
Background: Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is a polymicrobial, superficial vaginal infection involving a reduction in the amount of hydrogen peroxide-producing Lactobacillus and overgrowth of anaerobic bacteria. Common symptoms include increased fishy smelling vaginal discharge which is usually white or gray in color. Burning with urination may occur and itching is uncommon. Risk factors include douching, new or multiple sex partners, antibiotics, and use of intrauterine device among others.
Materials and Methods: This cross-sectional study assessed the prevalence of bacterial vaginosis among sexually active women aged 15-45 years. Vaginal swabs were obtained with the use of sterile swab sticks which were later smeared on clean glass slides and then Gram stained. The stained smears were observed for bacterial morphotypes with the X100 oil immersion objective and the Nugent scoring system was used to determine BV. Data were analyzed using the Statistical Package for Social Scientists (SPSS) version 17.0 and were considered significant at p ≤ 0.05.
Results: A total of 100 women participated in the study with the overall prevalence of BV rated 38%. The prevalence of BV with respect to associated factors was also investigated and it was observed that BV was more prevalent in the age groups 20-25 (48.1%) and 25-29 (44.4%), those who had attained only primary education (60.5%), married women, (68.4%), pregnant women (71.0%), and women who practiced vaginal douching, (97.4%). However, no statistical significant difference was observed in the prevalence between these parameters (P > 0.05).
Conclusions: Conclusively, the prevalence of bacterial vaginosis in our study population is 38% and highest among women aged between 25 and 34 years, pregnant women, married women, less educated women and women who practiced poor vaginal hygiene.
Keywords: Bacterial vaginosis, sexually active women aged 15-45 years