Effects of contraceptive method on the vaginal microbial flora

A prospective evaluation

Kalpana Gupta, Sharon L. Hillier, Thomas Hooton, Pacita L. Roberts, Walter E. Stamm

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

61 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A prospective evaluation of 331 university women who were initiating use of oral contraceptive pills (OCPs), a cervical cap, diaphragm- spermicide, or other spermicidal methods was done to assess the effects of commonly used contraceptive methods on the vaginal flora. Vaginal introital cultures were performed at baseline and then weekly for 1 month. The prevalence of Escherichia coli vaginal colonization and of abnormal vaginal Gram stain scores (Nugent criteria) increased significantly among women using a cervical cap or diaphragm-spermicide but not among women using OCPs. Women with E. coli colonization were significantly more likely to have an abnormal Nugent score and an absence of lactobacilli. In a multivariate model, use of spermicidal contraception in the preceding week was associated with an abnormal Nugent score and with colonization with E. coli, Enterococcus species, and anaerobic gram-negative rods. Thus, spermicidal methods of contraception are associated with alterations of the vaginal micro flora that consequently may predispose women to genitourinary infections.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)595-601
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Volume181
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 15 2000
Externally publishedYes

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Contraception
Female Contraceptive Devices
Oral Contraceptives
Escherichia coli
Diaphragm
Enterococcus
Lactobacillus
Infection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Immunology

Cite this

Effects of contraceptive method on the vaginal microbial flora : A prospective evaluation. / Gupta, Kalpana; Hillier, Sharon L.; Hooton, Thomas; Roberts, Pacita L.; Stamm, Walter E.

In: Journal of Infectious Diseases, Vol. 181, No. 2, 15.03.2000, p. 595-601.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Gupta, Kalpana ; Hillier, Sharon L. ; Hooton, Thomas ; Roberts, Pacita L. ; Stamm, Walter E. / Effects of contraceptive method on the vaginal microbial flora : A prospective evaluation. In: Journal of Infectious Diseases. 2000 ; Vol. 181, No. 2. pp. 595-601.
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