Indian J Sex Transm Dis Indian J Sex Transm Dis
Official Publication of the Indian Association for the Study of Sexually Transmitted Diseases
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Vaginal discharge: The diagnostic enigma

1 Junior Resident, Depatment of Microbiology, Osmania Medical College, Hyderabad, Telangana, India
2 Professor and Head, Depatment of Microbiology, Osmania Medical College, Hyderabad, Telangana, India

Correspondence Address:
G Jyothi Lakshmi,
Professor and Head, Department of Microbiology, Osmania Medical College, 5-1-86 Turrebaz Khan Road, Troop Bazaarkoti, Hyderabad, Telangana
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijstd.IJSTD_92_18

Bacground: Vaginal discharge is a common clinical problem with varied etiologies, most common being bacterial vaginosis which presents as homogenous gray discharge caused by overgrowth of facultative and anaerobic bacterial species, next common is vulvovaginal candidiasis characterized by pruritus and cottage cheese like discharge followed by vaginal trichomoniasis associated with copious yellow or green and frothy discharge. This necessitates the need to identify the specific cause of vaginal discharge. Aim: To determine the etiology of pathological vaginal discharges in women attending tertiary care hospital. Methodology: 698 sexually active females in age group of 15 to 65 years with complaints of vaginal discharge attending Department of Dermatology Venereology and Leprosy at a Tertiary care hospital from June 2017 to May 2018 participated in the study. After presumptive clinical diagnosis vaginal discharge was collected. Wet mounts and 10% KOH preparations were examined immediately. Identification of pathogens was done by Gram stain and culture. Results: 18.33% of 698 patients showed vulvovaginal candidiasis, 13.75% had bacterial vaginosis, 1.86% showed trichomoniasis. Gold standard was considered to be culture for candidiasis & trichomoniasis whereas for bacterial vaginosis it was Nugent's score. Conclusions: Vaginal discharge is of multiple yet specific etiologies hence simple and minimal tests like microscopy available in most laboratories (supported by culture wherever possible) would help in accurate diagnosis without over or under treatment of patient due to the empirical therapy. Syndromic management of STIs (WHO guidelines) should be used only in non-specific cases.

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