A study of women-who-have-sex-with women (WSW) with bacterial vaginosis (BV) was carried out to look at behaviours that may influence the vaginal microorganisms of women and their female partners. Women between the ages of 18-55 years were recruited nationally. Participants completed questionnaires and self-collected vaginal swabs weekly on 3 occasions for BV assessment. 458 participants were recruited of which 192 were co-enrolled with their female partner (96 couples). BV was detected in 125 women (27%). BV was found more often in females who smoked, and who had 4 or more lifetime female partners, and when a female partner had BV symptoms. 375 (88%) participants had stable normal vaginal flora. Co-enrolled couples were less likely to have BV (31% vs 23%). Long term sexually-active WSW partnerships were more likely to have normal vaginal microorganisms.
This study has been also been published in Journal of Infectious Diseases
JID, 2014; 209: 1562 -1572
Bradshaw CS, Walker SM, Vodstrcil LA, Bilardi JE, Law M, Hocking JS, Fethers KA, Fehler G, Petersen S, Tabrizi SN, Chen MY, Garland SM, Fairley CK
The influence of behaviours and relationships on the vaginal microbiota of women and their female partners: The WOW Health Study
WOW prospective cohort study - Two hundred and ninety-eight women who did not have BV in this baseline study then continued in a 24 month prospective cohort study and provided vaginal samples and completed detailed questionnaires every 3 months. This study has completed and the data is currently being analysed. A plain language summary of the finding will be available on this site by the end of 2014. Thank you