What is the role of vaginal cultures in the diagnosis of bacterial vaginosis (BV)?

Updated: Oct 25, 2018
  • Author: Philippe H Girerd, MD; Chief Editor: Michel E Rivlin, MD  more...
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Obtaining routine vaginal cultures in patients with BV has no utility, because this is a polymicrobial infection and some women may have asymptomatic carriage of G vaginalis organisms. Although G vaginalis has been demonstrated to grow in up to 100% of vaginal cultures of women with BV, it has also been cultured in up to 70% of asymptomatic women. However, obtaining cultures to exclude other infectious etiologies (eg, Trichomonas species, C trachomatis, N gonorrhoeae) is appropriate. In recurrent cases that have not resolved with standard regimens, cultures may be appropriate.

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