Effects of hormonal contraception on vaginal flora

Francesco De Seta, Stefano Restaino, Davide De Santo, Guglielmo Stabile, Rubina Banco, Marina Busetti, Giulia Barbati, Secondo Guaschino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The sector of the market that deals with contraception offers a long list of different contraceptive methods. Within the estroprogestinic choice, the routes of administration are oral, transdermic and vaginal one. Even though efficacy is comparable with these methods, secondary and adverse effects are directly involved in the acceptability of the method. Study Design: This was a prospective comparative study. During 1 year, we enrolled 60 asymptomatic women who voluntarily requested combined oral contraception (COC) or combined contraceptive vaginal ring (CCVR group). After a baseline study of vaginal milieu prior to starting hormonal contraception, we performed a follow-up. For each woman, we examined vaginal pH; quantification of leukocytes, lactobacilli, Candida and cocci on saline microscopy fluid; Gram stain with Nugent score and the presence of vaginal infection [culture for Trichomonas vaginalis, albicans and nonalbicans Candida, Group B Streptococcus (GBS)]. Results: At the end of follow-up, there was a little change of vaginal milieu in both groups. We noted an increase of lactobacilli in the CCVR users and an increase of GBS in COC users. Conclusion: CCVR compared to COC users showed an increase of the number of lactobacilli in vaginal flora. It means that an increase of leukorrhea in that group could be protective in terms of prevention of vaginal imbalance/infection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)526-529
Number of pages4
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2012


  • Lactobacilli
  • Leukocytes
  • Oral contraceptive
  • Vaginal flora
  • Vaginal ring

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology


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