2003-12-01 12:19:11 UTC
Bacterial Vaginosis Infections - Dr Sophia Yen UCSF
KeyWords: Gynecology, Obstetrics, Asian American Women, Bacterial
Infertility, Miscarriage, Dr. Sophia Yen, Bacterial Infection,
Gynecological Infection More Widespread than thought
Colette Bouchez. HealthDay. Friday Nov 7 2003.
In a study published in the November 2003 issue of
"Obstetrics and Gynecology," doctors form the University
of California, San Francisco (UCSF) found among the
1,938 women who entered basic training for the U.S.
Marines (from June 1999 to June 2000) that more
than 25% percent were infected with Bacterial Vaginosis (BV).
Of those infected 18% had never had sexual relations.
Bacterial Vaginosis is an infection caused
by an overgrowth of bacterial found naturally in
the vaginia. The main symptoms is a thin, watery,
white discharge that has a strong "fishy" order.
The study's author Dr. Sophia Yen points out that up
to 50 percent of BV cases have no symptoms at all.
BV is linked to serious health problems including
miscarriages, pelvic inflammatory disease, premature
births, and infertility. BV can be treated with
antibiotics. Women who are sexually active with
multiple partners have a higher risk of BV but
BV can occur even if a women is not sexually active.
Hormonal fluctuation can also cause a BV infection.
The study collected vaginal discharge samples with
specially prepared vaginal swabs. Samples were then
tested for pH (acidic/base) levels. The sample was
then applied to a glass slide for a "gram stain"
evaluation utilizing a Nugent score system. Women were
also screened for sexually transmiited disease and administered
a Pap Smear. The study found that that asian american women have
the lowest rates of BV, regardless of sexual activity.
Yen believes there may be a biological difference
among asian american women that may account for the
difference in BV infections that she found. The study
also found that women who used birth control pill were less
likely to develop BV infections - which Yen hypothesizes
could be due to the the ability of birth control pills
to prevent and/or control over hormonal fluctuations that
increase the risk of BV infections. Dr. Sharon Winer, an
obstetrician/gynecologist at Cedars Sinai Medical Center
in Los Angeles(CA) said that Yen's study is consistent with
what doctors are seeing in clinical practice. Dr. Yen is an
adolescent medicine specialist at UCSF's
Department of Pediatrics.