James W Gray MRCP FRCPath
Foundation Years Journal, volume 2, issue 3, p.120 (123Doc Education, London, March 2008)
Infection is the most common cause of pathological vaginal discharge. The most common infections are bacterial vaginosis (BV) and candidiasis. Sexually transmitted diseases that may present with vaginal discharge include trichomoniasis, chlamydia and gonorrhoea. Because of the long-term morbidity and public health implications of these infections they should always be considered in women at risk of sexually transmitted diseases. Microscopy and culture of vaginal and endocervical swabs are the mainstay of investigation of vaginal discharge, but for some infections they are increasingly being superseded by nucleic acid amplification techniques. In this article the various infective causes of vaginal discharge, and their treatment, are discussed and recommendations for selection of appropriate microbiological investigations according to the clinical presentation are proposed.
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James W Gray MRCP FRCPath
Department of Microbiology
Birmingham Womenâ€™s NHS Foundation Trust
Birmingham Childrenâ€™s Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
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2. Smellie WSA, Forth J, Sundar S,et al. Best practice in primary care pathology: review 4. J Clin Pathol 2006;59:893â€“902.
3. British Association for Sexual Health and HIV . http://www .bashh.org/ guidelines.asp, accessed on 10th February 2008.
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