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Vaginal swabs were taken from 1498 women attending a family planning clinic. The flora was assessed in the absence of any information about the women to whom the swabs related. Yeasts and fungi were present in 311 women (21%) and were no more prevalent among "pill" users than others. Candida albicans was significantly associated with vulval itching and with a vaginal discharge described as heavier than normal or curdy on clinical examination, though these abnormalities were present in only a minority of women with the organism. Trichomonas vaginalis was found in 14 women (1%) and was associated with abnormalities of vaginal discharge in all but one. Gram-negative anaerobic bacilli were significantly more common in women with a troublesome vaginal discharge and those who used an intrauterine device than others. No associations were found between fungi other than C albicans or the other bacteria sought and either symptoms or clinical abnormalities of vaginal discharge.

Original publication




Journal article


British medical journal

Publication Date





1450 - 1453


Vagina, Humans, Trichomonas vaginalis, Gram-Negative Anaerobic Bacteria, Fungi, Candida albicans, Leukorrhea, Pruritus Vulvae, Contraceptives, Oral, Intrauterine Devices, Adolescent, Adult, Middle Aged, Female