History, clinical findings, sexual behavior and hygiene habits in women with and without recurrent episodes of urinary symptoms

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: To compare women with and without a history of recurrent symptoms suggestive of a urinary tract infection but a current negative urine culture regarding symptoms and signs of a genital infection, carriership of sexually transmitted agents and vaginal flora changes, sexual behavior and genital hygiene practice. SETTINGS: Contraceptive attendees at family planning and youth clinics. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Two hundred and seventeen women who reported recurrent symptoms of dysuria, frequent micturition, and urgency and had a negative bacterial urine culture were recruited as cases. Seven hundred and ten culture-negative women lacking such symptoms served as controls. A careful record was made including details about gynecological symptoms, sexual behavior and genital hygiene practice. Gynecological signs were noted at gynecological examination. Genital infections, including sexually transmitted diseases, were diagnosed. RESULTS: The mean age of the two groups studied was 26.2 and 25.8 years, respectively. Symptoms, such as dysmenorrhea, vaginal discharge, genital pruritus, abdominal pain and superficial dyspareunia were more frequent in the study group than among the controls. On examination, only erythema was observed more often. However, the cases more often had a history of genital herpes and vulvovaginal candidosis. They used tampons only for menstrual purposes, and soap for genital hygiene, but more often used low-pH solutions and took hot baths less frequently. The women with recurrent urinary symptoms more often masturbated and more often had experience of anal sex and sex during menstruation than the control group. CONCLUSIONS: Sexual behavior and genital hygiene habits may play an etiological role in the lives of women with recurrent episodes of urinary symptoms with a negative bacterial urine culture.

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  • Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Medicine
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)654-659
JournalActa Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica
Volume77
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1998
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes