High prevalence of lower genital tract infection among women in Beijing, China
There has been a notable increase in the incidence of LGTI in recent years, which is of concern since the link between high-risk human papillomavirus (HR-HPV) and other sexually transmitted diseases remains unclear and untreated LGTI such as Chlamydia trachomatis may cause pelvic inflammatory disease, which has been linked to miscarriages, preterm birth, ectopic pregnancy, and tubal factor infertility.
Researchers in China analysed data from 1,218 married women aged 20±70 years who were resident in Beijing for at least 6 months and underwent routine annual gynaecologic health checks between March and October 2014. Cervical secretions and vaginal swab specimens were tested for C. trachomatis, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, Ureaplasma urealyticum, yeast, clue cells, and HR-HPV. The women also completed a structured questionnaire that provided data on demographic status, reproductive health history, sexual behaviour, symptoms of genital tract infection, use of vaginal medications, and use of contraceptive methods.
Laboratory results were available for 1,195 women. Forty-seven percent had LGTI, most commonly U. urealyticum (35.5 percent), bacterial vaginosis (10.5 percent), and yeast infection (3.7 percent). HR-HPV (7 percent) was detected and significantly correlated with abnormal cervical cytology (p<0.0001). Moreover, the risk of HR-HPV infection was significantly increased by the presence of bacterial vaginosis (odds ratio, 3.0, 95 percent confidence interval, 1.7±5.4; p<0.0001).