Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is associated with adverse reproductive outcomes, and recurrence is common. We examined factors associated with BV recurrence using electronic medical record data for patients attending New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene sexual health clinics from 2014 to 2018.
Clinician-diagnosed BV was defined using a clinical BV diagnosis code based on Amsel criteria. Recurrent BV was defined as any BV diagnosis occurring more than 30 days after the previous diagnosis. Adjusted hazard ratios (AHRs) for the relationship between potential risk factors and recurrent BV were estimated using conditional gap-time models.
The data set contained 14,858 patients with at least one BV diagnosis. Of these, 46.3% (n = 6882) had at least 1 follow-up visit to a sexual health clinic between January 2014 and December 2018. Of those with a follow-up visit, 53.9% (n = 3707) had ≥1 recurrent BV episode, with 33.7% (n = 2317) experiencing recurrence within 3 months. In the multivariable model, using a hormonal intrauterine device (IUD; AHR, 1.31; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.14–1.49) or copper IUD (AHR, 1.17; 95% CI, 1.01–1.37), having a history of trichomonas (AHR, 1.23; 95% CI, 1.12–1.36), and being non-Hispanic Black (AHR, 1.11; 95% CI, 1.04–1.18) were associated with a higher risk of BV recurrence, whereas using non-IUD hormonal contraception was associated with reduced risk (AHR, 0.88; 95% CI, 0.80–0.98).
Risk of BV recurrence was increased among patients using an IUD, whereas it was reduced in patients using non-IUD hormonal contraception.