Bacterial vaginosis in pregnancy and early labour using Nugent scoring and the implication on foetal outcome

  • Adewale O. Sule-Odu
  • Adedayo A. Oluwole
  • Adebayo A. Akadri
  • Babatunde A. Andu
  • Adeniyi K. Akiseku
  • Olubunmi A. Osinupebi
  • Ismail A. Lawal
  • Kolawole S. Oritogun
Keywords: Bacterial vaginosis; foetal outcome; Lactobacillus; pregnancy; vaginal microflora


Background: To compare the pattern of vaginal microflora during pregnancy with pattern in early labour using Nugent scoring and determine the effect of these changes on fetal outcome.

Design: A prospective longitudinal study.

Setting and Population: Pregnant women attending antenatal clinics of Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital, Sagamu, Nigeria between June 2017 and May 2018.

Methods: Consenting pregnant women who attended antenatal clinics were recruited. Vaginal secretions were obtained for Nugent scoring during pregnancy and at presentation in labour.

Main Outcome Measures: Prevalence of abnormal vaginal flora in pregnancy and early labour, birth outcome, birth weight, gestational age at delivery, APGAR scores, need for neonatal ward admission.

Results: Sixty-seven (33.3%) of pregnant women had abnormal flora which was consistent with bacterial vaginosis.
At the presentation of these women in labour, 14.4% of them had bacterial vaginosis thus indicating a significant reduction in abnormal vaginal flora in labour compared to the proportion of abnormal flora in antenatal period
(P<0.001). There were no significant differences in the fetal outcomes of mothers with bacterial vaginosis when compared with those with normal vaginal flora (P-value >0.05).

Conclusions: Persistence of abnormal vaginal microflora from pregnancy till early labour did not seem to be associated with poorer foetal outcomes when compared with women with normal vaginal microflora in labour. The possibility of persistent infection or re-infection before labour may justify the need for re-evaluation of vaginal smears in the late third trimester to allow for prompt treatment before the onset of labour.

Keywords: Bacterial vaginosis, foetal outcome, Lactobacillus, pregnancy, vaginal microflora.

Funding: This research work was sponsored by the Tertiary Education Trust Fund, Nigeria (TETFund) with reference
number OOU/IBR/010.


Journal Identifiers

print ISSN: 0016-9560