On 29 April at 15.00, in open meeting of the Medical Promotion Council of the Rīga Stradiņš University that will take place in Hippocrates lecture theatre, Riga, 16 Dzirciema Str., Jana Žodžika will defend her doctoral thesis “Abnormal vaginal microflora: risk factors, bed-side diagnostic methods in pregnancy and efficiency of an alternative non-antibacterial treatment modality in pregnant and non-pregnant women”.
Changed vaginal microflora is one of the most significant causes of miscarriages and neonatal infection, therefore it is important to identify pregnant women with changed vaginal microflora during the visit already entering the pregnancy records.
Changed vaginal microflora is usually treated by antibiotics, however the efficiency of their administration for minimizing pregnancy complication is not fully demonstrated; furthermore, antibiotics can cause bacterial resistance (insensitivity to antibiotics), adverse reactions and can disrupt the vaginal protective environment. It would be ideal to adjust the vaginal microflora during pregnancy by some effective, alternative treatment without using any antibiotics, for example, vaginal ascorbic acid (vitamin C).
The purpose of the doctoral thesis was to investigate the changed vaginal microflora in pregnant women and the effect of alternative “non-antibacterial” treatment - vaginal ascorbic acid (vitamin C) – on the changed vaginal microflora in pregnant women and other women. For achieving the goal, several tasks were set - to investigate the effect of treatment and maintenance administration regiment of vaginal ascorbic acid (vitamin C) on changed vaginal microflora in pregnant women and other women, to determine the risk factors for changed vaginal microflora, to identify symptoms and the usefulness of bed-side tests – vaginal pH measurements and native microscopy - in diagnostics of changed vaginal microflora, as well as to compare the pregnancy outcome of women with normal and changed microflora at the early stage of pregnancy.
It was revealed in the study that the risk factors for changed vaginal microflora are low educational level, smoking, as well as disturbances of vaginal environment during pregnancy. Physician can diagnose changed vaginal microflora already during a visit by performing pH measurements of vaginal discharge and studying smears by native microscopy method. Untreated changed vaginal microflora is associated with more frequent abortions and premature births. Using vaginal vitamin C, the vaginal environment improves, and especially good effect was observed in pregnant women.
Basing on the study data, it is recommended to introduce health education and a mandatory subject in schools of Latvia to increase the women's educational level and improve their knowledge in the most significant health aspects. In gynecological practice, pH measurements of the vaginal environment should be done in each visit; furthermore, physician should learn the microscopy method to be able to correctly diagnose changed vaginal microflora already during the visit and, if necessary, prescribe the appropriate treatment.
The author recommend in case of changed vaginal microflora and for restoring vagina pH to use vaginal ascorbic acid in treatments and maintenance regiment; however is it necessary to continue the study to find out whether use of vagina vitamin C minimizes the probability of spontaneous abortion and premature birth and the risk of neonatal infection.