A study on vaginal discharge in females attending sexually transmitted diseases outpatient department


  • V. Anandan Department of Dermatovenereology, Stanley Medical College, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
  • A. Kayalvizhi Department of Dermatovenereology, Stanley Medical College, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
  • C. Vijayabhaskar Department of Dermatovenereology, Stanley Medical College, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
  • R. M. Sobimeena Department of Dermatovenereology, Stanley Medical College, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India




Vaginal discharge, Bacterial vaginosis, Vulvovaginal candidiasis, Wet mount, KOH mount, Sabourad dextrose agar


Background: Vaginal discharge is the most common complaint among sexually active women attending sexually transmitted disease (STD) clinics. It can be either physiological or pathological. Effective treatment of vaginal discharge requires etiological diagnosis. The present study was carried out to determine the magnitude, epidemiological correlates and etiologies of vaginal discharge.

Methods: A total of 100 sexually active women in the age group of 20-50 years irrespective of marital status presenting with vaginal discharge were recruited in the study. Women during menstruation, pregnant women, post-menopausal women, women who had taken antibiotics or vaginal medication in the past 2 weeks were excluded. A detailed clinical history, thorough examination, appropriate bedside tests and cultures were done for all cases.

Results: Out of 100 women, 11% had physiological and 89% had pathological discharge. Among pathological vaginal discharge, bacterial vaginosis is the common cause (38%) followed by Vulvovaginal candidiasis (20%), Trichomoniasis (8%) and cervicitis (10%). Mixed infections were found in 13% with bacterial Vaginosis and Vulvovaginal candidiasis being higher. The 4% were HIV serology positive.

Conclusions: The results of the study were comparable with other similar studies. It emphasizes the fact that clinicians should be aware of emerging epidemiological patterns, different presentations of vaginal discharge, recent advances in investigation and their management.


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