Antibiotics for treating bacterial vaginosis in pregnancy.

Abstract:

BACKGROUND:Bacterial vaginosis is an imbalance of the normal vaginal flora with an overgrowth of anaerobic bacteria and a lack of the normal lactobacillary flora. Bacterial vaginosis during pregnancy has been associated with poor perinatal outcome and, in particular, preterm birth. Identification and treatment may reduce the risk of preterm birth and its consequences. OBJECTIVES:To assess the effects of antibiotic treatment of bacterial vaginosis in pregnancy. SEARCH STRATEGY:We searched the Cochrane Pregnancy and Childbirth Group trials register (May 2004). SELECTION CRITERIA:Randomized trials comparing antibiotic treatment with placebo or no treatment, or comparing two or more antibiotic regimens in pregnant women with bacterial vaginosis or intermediate vaginal flora. DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS:Two reviewers assessed trials and extracted data independently. We contacted study authors for additional information. MAIN RESULTS:Thirteen trials involving 5300 women were included; all were of good quality. Antibiotic therapy was effective at eradicating bacterial vaginosis during pregnancy (odds ratio (OR) 0.21, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.19 to 0.24, nine trials of 3895 women). Treatment was not significant in reducing the risk of preterm birth before 37 weeks (OR 0.87, 95% CI 0.74 to 1.03, thirteen trials of 5300 women, and there was significant heterogeneity between trials, p-value 0.002), preterm birth before 34 weeks (OR 1.22, 95% CI 0.67 to 2.19, five trials of 851 women), preterm birth before 32 weeks (OR 1.14, 95% CI 0.76 to 1.70, four trials of 3565 women), or the risk of preterm prelabour rupture of membranes (OR 0.88, 95% CI 0.61 to 1.28, four trials of 2579 women). In women with a previous preterm birth, treatment did not affect the risk of subsequent preterm birth (OR 0.83, 95% CI 0.59 to 1.17, five trials of 622 women, with significant heterogeneity between these trials); however, it may decrease the risk of preterm prelabour rupture of membranes (OR 0.14, 95% CI 0.05 to 0.38, two trials of 114 women, and low birthweight (OR 0.31, 95% CI 0.13 to 0.75, two trials of 114 women). AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS:Antibiotic treatment can eradicate bacterial vaginosis in pregnancy. However, this review provides little evidence that screening and treating all pregnant women with asymptomatic bacterial vaginosis will prevent preterm birth and its consequences. For women with a previous preterm birth, there is some suggestion that treatment of bacterial vaginosis may reduce the risk of preterm prelabour rupture of membranes and low birthweight.

authors

McDonald H,Brocklehurst P,Parsons J

doi

10.1002/14651858.CD000262.pub2

keywords:

subject

Has Abstract

pub_date

2005-01-25 00:00:00

pages

CD000262

issue

1

issn

1469-493X

pub_type

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