Frequency and diagnosis of bacterial vaginosis

Document Type



Obstetrics and Gynaecology


Objective: To determine the frequency of bacterial vaginosis (BV) in women with vaginal discharge, and to compare different diagnostic tests for its diagnosis.
Design: Cross-sectional study.
Place and Duration of Study: The Aga Khan University Hospital from June 1998 to May 2000.
Patients and Methods: All women attending the Obstetrics and Gynecology clinics at The Aga Khan University Hospital, with the complaints of vaginal discharge, were examined with the help of a speculum. The vaginal pH was measured, samples for bacterial cultures were obtained. A slide was prepared for the gram's stain and Whiff-test was also performed. BV was diagnosed, when the vaginal discharge fulfilled at least three of the composite clinical criteria (Amsel's criteria), a standard method for the diagnosis of bacterial vaginosis: homogenous (pasty) discharge, pH more than 4.5, positive Whiff-test and the presence of clue cells.
Results: The frequency of BV was observed to be 16.1% . The culture for Gardnerella vaginalis was compared with the composite clinical criteria. The sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive values of the culture, calculated for the diagnosis of BV were 93.8%, 70%, 37.7% and 98% respectively.
Conclusion: The use of laboratory tests in conjunction with clinical findings is necessary for diagnosis of BV. The composite clinical criteria for the diagnosis of BV are rapid, reliable and inexpensive method.


Journal of the College of Physicians and Surgeons Pakistan