What is the prevalence of bacterial vaginosis (BV) in the US?

Updated: Oct 25, 2018
  • Author: Philippe H Girerd, MD; Chief Editor: Michel E Rivlin, MD  more...
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BV occurs in one third of adult women in the United States, which represents approximately 21 million women. Each year, women make 10 million office visits for vaginal discharge. [11] An increased prevalence is associated with cigarette smoking, obesity, being single/never married, prior pregnancy, and a history of induced abortion. [9]

Gardnerella vaginalis has been reported to occur in up to 100% of women with signs and symptoms of BV and in up to 70% of women with no signs or symptoms of BV.

G vaginalis has been isolated in up to 80% of the urethras of male sexual partners of women with BV. However, treatment of male partners is not recommended as it has not been shown to alter rates of BV in their female partners.

The incidence of BV in patients attending obstetric clinics is 10-25% and may be as high as 30-65% in patients attending sexually transmitted disease clinics.

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