Background: Vulvovaginal Candidiasis (VVC) is a common infection of the female genital tract. It is estimated that about 75% of women will experience VVC infection at least once in their life-time, however, lifestyle habits have been implicated in the higher susceptibility to VVC infection in some women than others. The aim of this cross sectional study was to assess the effect of tight fitting and loose under-wears made of nylon and cotton on the prevalence of VVC and other vaginal infections among non-pregnant women in southern Nigeria.
Methodology: The study was carried out in seven health centers between January and July 2009 in Uyo Metropolis, Nigeria. One hundred and ninety one (76.4%) of the 250 participants who were selected by sequential randomization met the inclusion criteria and participated in the study. Self administered structured questionnaire was used to assess the regular pattern of dressing and associated gynaecological problems of participants for a year prior to the study period. Vaginal smear/swab was taken from each participant for microscopy, culture and sensitivity.
Results: Prevalences of VVC infection in women who regularly wear nylon tight synthetic pants (NTSP) and cotton tight cotton pants (CTCP) were 76.8% and 42.9% respectively. Incident vaginal symptoms in regular users of NTSP versus (vs) CTCP were as follows: Acute vaginal discharge (VD) 82.64% vs 25.7%, recurrent abnormal VD 25.7% vs 1.43%, green-yellow VD 10.7% vs 7.14%, yellow VD 7.43% vs 28.57%, acute vaginal itching 66.12% vs 21.43%, recurrent vaginal itching 6.61% vs 2.86%, and vaginal soreness 19% vs 2.86%. Proportions of women who regularly wear NTSP vs CTCP with positive cultures for different micro-organisms were as follows: Candida albicans 76.86% vs 42.80%, Trichomonas vaginalis 23.86% vs 17.14% and Neiseria gonorrhea 4.96% vs 2.86%.
Conclusion: Regular wearing of NTSP is associated with higher prevalence of VVC and other vaginal infections than regular wearing of CTCP.
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