Prevalence of bacterial vaginosis in pregnant women attending Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital, Nnewi, Nigeria using the complete Amsel’s diagnostic criteria

*1Udeogu, C. V., 1Agbakoba, N. R., 1Chukwuma, L. N., 2Okwelogu, S. I., and 3Oguejiofor, C. B.

1Department of Medical Laboratory Science, Medical Microbiology Unit, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Nnewi, Anambra State, Nigeria

2Department of Parasitology and Entomology, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra State, Nigeria

3Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital, Nnewi, Nigeria

*Correspondence to:


Background: Bacterial vaginosis (BV) in pregnant women remains a cause for clinical concern among clinicians and health care professionals. BV has been linked to prenatal, antenatal and postnatal challenges in pregnant women. Information on prevalence of BV across trimesters of pregnancy is expected to give better clinical insight into the pathophysiology of this polymicrobial disorder. This study was conducted to determine the prevalence of BV in pregnant women attending the Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital (NAUTH), Nnewi, Nigeria.

Methodology: This was a cross-sectional study of 120 pregnant women (40 in each trimester of pregnancy) who had symptoms suggestive of BV, selected by systematic random sampling from among the women attending the Obstetrics and Gynaecology (O & G) clinic of NAUTH, Nnewi. Each subject participant was examined by the attending clinician, and high vaginal swab (HVS) sample was collected for diagnostic analysis of BV using with complete Amsel’s clinical criteria, which consists of three of the four criteria; (i) adherent and homogenous vaginal discharge, (ii) vaginal pH > 4.5, (iii) detection of clue cells on saline wet mount, and (iv) amine odor after the addition of potassium hydroxide (positive Whiff test).

Results: The mean age of the 120 selected participants was 27.25±6.09 years. The age groups 25-29 (36.7%) and 20-24 years (33.3%) constituted the largest proportion, while age groups <20 (5.0%) and 40-45 years (5.0%) constituted the least. Of the 120 participants, 26 (21.7%) were positive for BV by the Amsel’s criteria. Pregnant women in age group <20 years had the highest prevalence of BV (100%, 6/6), followed by those in the age groups 20-24 (27.5%), 40-45 (16.7%), 25-29 (15.9%), 30-34 (9.1%) and 35-39 years (0%) (X2=28.063, p=0.0001). Prevalence of BV was significantly higher in single (unmarried) pregnant women (45.5%, X2=4.038, p=0.045), women with primary school education level (66.7%, X2=14.530, p=0.001), unemployed women (36.1%, X2=13.278, p=0.0013), and nulliparous women [36.4%, X2 (for trend) = 4.805, p=0.0274), while there was no significant difference in the prevalence of BV with relation to trimester of pregnancy (X2=2.750, p=0.253).

Conclusion: This study reveals a relatively high prevalence of BV and significant association with factors such as age group, education and occupational status among pregnant women attending NAUTH Nnewi. Regular screening of women for BV prenatally may enable appropriate interventions to prevent adverse pregnancy outcomes.

Keywords: Bacterial vaginosis, pregnancy, trimesters, Amsel’s criteria, polymicrobial, Nnewi, Nigeria

Received Mar 1, 2022; Revised Apr 30, 2022; Accepted May 03, 2022

Copyright 2022 AJCEM Open Access. This article is licensed and distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attrition 4.0 International License <a rel=”license” href=”//, which permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided credit is given to the original author(s) and the source. Editor-in-Chief: Prof. S. S. Taiwo

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Prevalence of bacterial vaginosis in pregnant women attending Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital, Nnewi, Nigeria using the complete Amsel’s diagnostic criteria