Journal of Community Medicine and Primary Health Care

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Prevalence, pattern and predictors of abnormal vaginal discharge among women attending health care institutions in Imo State, Nigeria

K.A. Uwakwe, A.C. Iwu, C.N. Obionu, C.B. Duru, I.C. Obiajuru, U.C. Madubueze


Background: Normal vaginal discharge is a normal physiological process that can become abnormal due mostly to sexually and non-sexually transmitted infections. This study determined the prevalence, pattern, sociodemographic and maternal predictors of abnormal vaginal discharge among women attending health care institutions in Imo State, Nigeria.

Methods: This cross-sectional descriptive design used stratified sampling technique to select 450 records of women of reproductive ages. Data was extracted using a proforma. Descriptive statistics was presented using frequencies and summary indices. Chi square statistics and binary logistic regression were done. P-value of < 0.05 was considered significant.

Results: The overall prevalence rate of abnormal vaginal discharge was 55.6% and among those pregnant, was 73.3%. Majority of the women had whitish virginal discharge (76.3%) and 49.6% had experienced foul and fish smelling discharges. Candida albicans was the pathogen most isolated (63.3%) followed by Gardnerella vaginalis (13.9%). Majority of the women (76.2%) also had coexisting gynaecological complaints, of which 41.3% and 38.8% experienced itching around the vulva and lower abdominal pain, respectively. The predictors of abnormal vaginal discharge were residing in an urban area, having a post-secondary level of education, having no child, currently pregnant, having no history of induced abortion, being sexually active and having other complaints associated with sexually transmitted infections, (p<0.05).

Conclusion: The socio-demographic and maternal predictors of abnormal vaginal discharge in the study area should be taken into account in order to improve early detection and identify the women at risk of abnormal vaginal discharge.

Keywords: Prevalence, Patterns, Predictors, Abnormal vaginal discharge, Nigeria

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