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Abstract

To evaluate whether the use of "breathable" panty liners (BPLs) alters the normal vaginal flora, increases the incidence of bacterial vaginosis and/or vaginal candidiasis, or causes vulvar irritation. A randomized controlled trial assessed the vaginal ecosystem of women without complaints of vaginal discharge. The study group (n=53) wore BPLs for 10-12 hours each day for 75 consecutive days, whereas the control group (n=54) wore only their usual underwear. At each of 6 visits during 3 menstrual cycles, participants underwent gynecologic examination with colposcopic evaluation and pH measurement, in addition to assessment of vaginal microbial flora, intensity of inflammatory processes, and presence of vaginal candidiasis/bacterial vaginosis in Gram-stained smears. After 75 consecutive days of BPL use, 40/44 (90.9%) and 42/44 (95.5%) women reported no complaints of vaginal discharge or vulvar itching/burning, respectively. There was no significant difference between the study group and the control group with regard to positive vaginal fungus cultures (5/44 [11.4%] vs 8/50 [16.0%]; P=0.7848) or bacterial vaginosis (3/44 [6.8%] vs 2/50 [4.0%]; P=0.7974) at the end of the study period. After 75 days of BPL use, there was no significant increase in vulvovaginal candidiasis, bacterial vaginosis, vulvovaginal irritation, or vulvovaginal inflammation.

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... In a prospective study [12] performed in Brazil, Giraldo et al. randomly divided 107 healthy participants who were not overweight and were without gynecologic complaints into two groups. The study group (n = 53) was instructed to use breathable panty liners for 10-12 hours daily for 75 days, and the control group (n = 54) was asked to use their usual undergarments only. ...
... Farage et al. [15] observed no changes in microflora following daily panty liner use for 6 months when examining vaginal secretions and cultures taken from used sanitary pads. Giraldo et al. [12] found no increase in the occurrence of bacterial vaginosis, candidiasis, or vulvovaginal irritation in healthy women who were not overweight after the use of breathable daily panty liners for 75 days. Breathable (vapor-permeable) products were used in this study to minimize the effect of extended skin coverage. ...
Article
Background Whether panty liners predispose to vulvovaginitis is unclear. Objectives To clarify the effects of the use of panty liners on the female genital tract. Search strategy Several electronic databases (including PubMed and Embase) were searched to identify studies published in English before May 3, 2012. Selection criteria Case–control studies, randomized controlled trials, and cohort studies comparing young women who did and did not use panty liners in the intermenstrual period were included. Data collection and analysis The quality of the studies was assessed using the Newcastle–Ottawa Scale or the Jadad Scale. Data from suitable studies were extracted for analysis. Main results Five articles met the inclusion criteria. Four studies—all of which included only healthy women—found no significant clinical implications arising from the use of panty liners. The fifth study was of women with recurrent candidiasis and showed that use of panty liners was associated with new candidiasis episodes. Conclusions The intermenstrual use of panty liners does not seem to have a negative effect on the vulvovaginal area.
... The effect of emollient use is two-fold: Providing symptomatic relief and preventing further flare-ups. Patients should be advised to avoid anything that may dry and irritate the sensitive vulval skin, including using shower gels, wipes, soaps and feminine hygiene products, excessive cleaning of the vagina (including douching) and wearing daily panty liners and or tight, non-breathable fabrics [4,14,[16][17][18]. For patients that report sexual activity triggering RVVC symptoms, a gentle water-based lubricant may be useful [2]. ...
Article
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Recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis (RVVC) is a debilitating, chronic condition that affects over 138 million (6%) women of reproductive age annually. We performed a retrospective audit of RVVC referrals to our tertiary care Candida clinic to evaluate the impact of the significantly updated British Association of Sexual Health and HIV (BASHH) 2019 vulvovaginal candidiasis guidelines on patient outcomes, the principles of which were implemented at our centre at the onset of the guideline revision process in 2017. A total of 78 women referred with suspected RVVC in 2017–2020 were included. Their mean symptom duration prior to referral was 6.7 years. RVVC was the definitive diagnosis in 73% of cases. In the 27% of patients without RVVC, the most common diagnoses were acute VVC (29%), vulval eczema (14%), dry skin (14%) and vulvodynia (10%). Of those with RVVC, 60% were diagnosed with an additional diagnosis, most commonly vulval eczema or vulvodynia. Only 12% of women had been counselled on appropriate vulval skin care, the mainstay of RVVC management. Long-term antifungal suppression was initiated in 68% of women. Azole-resistant Candida, for which there is no licensed treatment available in the UK, was identified in 23% of women with RVVC. In the follow-up, 82% of patients reported good control of symptoms using antifungal suppression therapy and recommended skin care, 16% had partial symptom control with some “flare-ups” responding to treatment, none reported poor control and for 2% this information was not available. RVVC-related morbidity can be reduced by following the principles outlined in the BASHH guidelines.
... It is seen that these infections cause negative pregnancy results like preterm labor, recurrent abortus and abortion based on abortus (6)(7)(8). In general terms; activities like using flexible and bleeding underclothes, changing underclothes daily, changing sanitary pads frequently, doing perineal cleaning top-down, keeping perineal area dry, avoiding from vaginal douching and washing hands before and after using the toilet are accepted as positive hygiene behaviors (9)(10)(11)(12)(13). ...
... As mulheres que apresentam aumento na umidade vaginal (obesas, com atividade física intensa, excesso de lubrificação íntima, grande transpiração) poderiam se beneficiar do uso dos absorventes intermenstruais com camada inferior respirável, uma vez que este estudo sugere não haver alterações clínicas significativas (hiperemia, ardor e prurido), e com manifesta satisfação do uso regular durante o período intermenstrual. Conforme sugere um estudo complementar 15 , além de propiciar satisfação de uso e conferir segurança higiênica, o uso dos absorventes respiráveis não provoca modificações substanciais da flora vulvar e vaginal. ...
... [48] This review was supported in its conclusions on VVC and BV by a recent high quality RCT. [49] As tampons are increasingly promoted in lowincome countries it will be important to remain vigilant as to the possible health consequences of use in conditions of poor hygiene and potentially less frequent changing. ...
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Differing approaches to menstrual hygiene management (MHM) have been associated with a wide range of health and psycho-social outcomes in lower income settings. This paper systematically collates, summarizes and critically appraises the available evidence. Following the PRISMA guidelines a structured search strategy was used to identify articles investigating the effects of MHM on health and psycho-social outcomes. The search was conducted in May 2012 and had no date limit. Data was extracted and quality of methodology was independently assessed by two researchers. Where no measure of effect was provided, but sufficient data were available to calculate one, this was undertaken. Meta-analysis was conducted where sufficient data were available. 14 articles were identified which looked at health outcomes, primarily reproductive tract infections (RTI). 11 articles were identified investigating associations between MHM, social restrictions and school attendance. MHM was found to be associated with RTI in 7 papers. Methodologies however varied greatly and overall quality was low. Meta-analysis of a subset of studies found no association between confirmed bacterial vaginosis and MHM (OR: 1.07, 95% CI: 0.52-2.24). No other substantial associations with health outcomes were found. Although there was good evidence that educational interventions can improve MHM practices and reduce social restrictions there was no quantitative evidence that improvements in management methods reduce school absenteeism. The management of menstruation presents significant challenges for women in lower income settings; the effect of poor MHM however remains unclear. It is plausible that MHM can affect the reproductive tract but the specific infections, the strength of effect, and the route of transmission, remain unclear. There is a gap in the evidence for high quality randomised intervention studies which combine hardware and software interventions, in particular for better understanding the nuanced effect improving MHM may have on girls' attendance at school.
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Introduction: Genital hygiene can play an essential role in avoiding vulvovaginal discomfort and preventing infections. The scientific evidence on best practices on genital hygiene is scarce, and without doubt, gynecologists should be the best person to discuss and guide the subject. Objective: Evaluate the general genital female gynecologist hygiene. Methods: This descriptive analytic study identified genital hygiene and sexual practices of 220 female gynecologists, through a questionnaire with 60 self-answered questions. The data were analyzed and presented using frequency, percentage, mean and standard deviation. Results: The studied population was constituted by middle age (37.3 years) and white (71.3%) female gynecologists. More than a half (53.6%) declared spending over 10 hours a day away from home and complained of vaginal discharge in 48.1% of the cases. Regular vulvovaginal hygiene: 17.8% reported washing genitals once a day and 52% twice a day. The use of dry paper alone was reported in 66.4% post urination and 78.5% post-evacuation. Using running water and soap was practiced by 25.9% and 21.5% respectively. Vulvovaginal hygiene related to sex: More than half of them had intercourse 1-3 times a week, and 37.4% and 24.1% had frequent oral sex and eventually anal sexof the participants, respectively. Genital hygiene before sex was positive in 52.7% of the subjects and, post-sex hygiene in 78.5% of them. Conclusion: Genital hygiene habits of female gynecologists can be improved, despite the high grade of scientific knowledge they hold.
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The purpose of the study was to examine intercenter variability in the interpretation of Gram-stained vaginal smears from pregnant women. The intercenter reliability of individual morphotypes identified on the vaginal smear was evaluated by comparing them with those obtained at a standard center. A new scoring system that uses the most reliable morphotypes from the vaginal smear was proposed for diagnosing bacterial vaginosis. This scoring system was compared with the Spiegel criteria for diagnosing bacterial vaginosis. The scoring system (0 to 10) was described as a weighted combination of the following morphotypes: lactobacilli, Gardnerella vaginalis or bacteroides (small gram-variable rods or gram-negative rods), and curved gram-variable rods. By using the Spearman rank correlation to determine intercenter variability, gram-positive cocci had poor agreement (0.23); lactobacilli (0.65), G. vaginalis (0.69), and bacteroides (0.57) had moderate agreement; and small (0.74) and curved (0.85) gram-variable rods had good agreement. The reliability of the 0 to 10 scoring system was maximized by not using gram-positive cocci, combining G. vaginalis and bacteroides morphotypes, and weighting more heavily curved gram-variable rods. For comparison with the Spiegel criteria, a score of 7 or higher was considered indicative of bacterial vaginosis. The standardized score had improved intercenter reliability (r = 0.82) compared with the Spiegel criteria (r = 0.61). The standardized score also facilitates future research concerning bacterial vaginosis because it provides gradations of the disturbance of vaginal flora which may be associated with different levels of risk for pregnancy complications.
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To report a clinical association between vulvar irritation or contact dermatitis and the use of Always sanitary napkins. Case series. A gynecology practice in Montreal. Women presenting between September 1991 and September 1994 with itching or burning of areas that would be in contact with a sanitary napkin (mons pubis, external surfaces of the vulva and perineum) beginning at least 1 day after the use of the napkins was started and less than 5 days after the use was stopped. Twenty-eight women experienced vulvar itching and burning, often associated with eruptions resembling contact dermatitis, of the vulvar and perineal surfaces after using Always sanitary napkins. Twenty-six reported that symptoms disappeared after they stopped using that brand of sanitary napkin. Seven women who later used the same brand again reported a recurrence of the vulvar irritation. The findings of this case series reveal Always sanitary napkins as a potentially important cause of recurrent vulvitis. Physician awareness of the association will enable effective advice and relief for a large number of women suffering "chronic vaginitis".
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The expression of the 60-kD and 70-kD heat shock proteins (hsp60 and hsp70) in the vaginas of 43 asymptomatic women of reproductive age with or without a history of recurrent vulvovaginitis (RVV) were compared. Vaginal wash samples were obtained and assayed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for human hsp60 and hsp70. Heat shock protein 70 was not detected in any of the 19 women with no history of RVV, and hsp60 was present in only one woman in this group. In contrast, in the RVV group, 11 (45.8%) were hsp60-positive and eight (33.3%) were hsp70-positive. The presence of either heat shock protein in the vagina was associated with an elevated vaginal pH (>4.5). Bacterial vaginosis or Candida was identified in some of the asymptomatic subjects; their occurrence was significantly higher in women with vaginal hsp70 than in women with no heat shock proteins. Oral contraceptives were used by 35.7% of subjects who were negative for vaginal heat shock proteins, as opposed to only 12.5% of women who were positive for hsp70 and 8.3% who were positive for hsp60. Expression of heat shock proteins in the vagina may indicate an altered vaginal environment and a susceptibility to vulvovaginal symptoms.
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Secretory IgA contributes towards the protection of mucosal surfaces against invading microorganisms. Quantify secretory IgA titers in the saliva of women with HPV in the oropharynx and/or in the genital area. Seventy women with clinical genital HPV lesions and 70 women without HPV infection were tested for oral HPV DNA and the levels of total IgA in their saliva. One millilitre of saliva was collected, centrifuged and stored at -80 degrees C for the measurement of secretory IgA by nephelometry technique. A pool of oral pharyngeal cells was collected for HPV identification by polymerase chain reaction. Oral HPV PCR was positive in 29 (21%) women (26 women with genital HPV and only 3 women without genital HPV). Titers of secretory IgA were extremely lower in-patients with HPV DNA in the oropharynx when compared to HPV negative women (p<0.0001). Genital HPV and smoking were also associated to low levels of total sIgA in saliva (p<0.01). After multivariable analyses only the presence of HPV in the oral cavity and/or in genital area, but not smoking, was related to low levels of total secretory IgA. Women with low levels of total secretory IgA could be more susceptible to having their oral mucosa colonized by HPV.
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The hypothesis is advanced that the transition from a Lactobacillus-dominated vaginal microflora to a microflora characteristic of bacterial vaginosis (BV), as well as development of the adverse consequences of BV in some women but not in others, are due to alterations in innate immunity. A microbial-induced inhibition of Toll-like receptor expression and/or activity may block induction of proinflammatory immunity and lead to the proliferation of atypical vaginal bacteria. A lack of 70-kDa heat-shock protein production and release in response to abnormal flora would compound this failure to activate antimicrobial immune responses. A deficit in vaginal mannose-binding lectin concentrations would further decrease the capacity for microbial killing and increase the likelihood of bacterial migration from the vagina to the upper genital tract.
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The genital mechanisms of defense are not well understood and are therefore ignored during therapy. This fact results in a great number of cases of treatment failure. The mucosa is an important protective factor of the genital female system, through self-defense mechanisms, and secretor antibodies (immunoglobulin A). The lymphoid tissue exerts protective anti-inflammatory activity, besides inhibiting microorganism adherence, neutralizes viruses and toxins and stabilizes the mucosal flora. Although certain microorganisms, such as viruses and fungus, are controlled by cellular immunity, secretory IgA can also exert an important role in the control of these agents.
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To investigate the association between chronic periodontitis (CP) and pre-maturity in a group of Brazilian pregnant women from the State of São Paulo. One hundred and twenty-four women were investigated consecutively in a cross-sectional study, between December 2003 and May 2005. Sixty-eight women had pre-term labour (PTL) and 56 had term labour. A periodontal examination was carried out to identify the presence of CP. Statistical analysis used the Fisher's exact test or chi(2) for the discrete variables and the Mann-Whitney test for the non-parametric variables. Odds ratio (OR) was calculated with a 95% confidence interval (CI), to evaluate the relation between CP and pre-maturity. Periodontal indicators, such as clinical attachment loss (p<0.0001) and bleeding on probing (p=0.012), were observed more in the PTL group. The presence of CP increased the risk for PTL (OR: 4.7, 95% CI: 1.9-11.9), pre-term birth (PTB; OR: 4.9, 95% CI: 1.9-12.8) and low birth weight (<2500 g; OR: 4.2, 95% CI: 1.3-13.3). The pregnant women with PTL presented low levels of schooling (p=0.029) and the lowest number of pre-natal appointments (p=0.0001) when compared with those with term labour. CP is strongly associated with PTL, PTB and low birth weight in a group of Brazilian pregnant women. These data point to the necessity of regularly investigating CP during pregnancy.
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To determine the frequency of abnormal vaginal flora and bacterial vaginosis (BV) in female sex workers (FSW) and the association between douching and vaginal microflora imbalance, a cross-sectional study enrolled 94 users and 61 non-users of vaginal douching. The social-demographic and sexual profile of these women was obtained and their abnormal vaginal flora, BV, vaginal candidiasis, trichomoniasis and cytolitic vaginosis on blinded samples were identified by Gram stain. A stepwise multivariate regression determined the risk of development of vaginal microflora imbalance. Prevalence of abnormal flora, BV, candidiasis, trichomoniasis and cytolytic vaginosis in the entire FSW was 75.5%, 51.0%, 5.1%, 0.64% and 1.9%, respectively. There were no significant differences in these findings between users and non-users of vaginal douching. Regression analysis did not identify any increased risk for altered vaginal flora or BV in vaginal douche users. In conclusion, vaginal douching did not increase the rate of these alterations in FSW.
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Objective: The goals of this study were 1) to better define the labial microflora and 2) to evaluate whether extended non-menstrual use of panty liners would increase genital carriage of undesirable bacteria and predispose to infection. Methods: Healthy female volunteers (224) were prospectively randomized into panty liner wear groups A (Always® deodorant) and B (Always® non-deodorant) and into a control group C (no panty liner wear) with instructions for non-menstrual ± menstrual use ≥5 h daily for 6 months. Selected aerobic bacteria were semiquantitatively cultured from the inner labial groove, the posterior fornix of the vagina, and the cervix pre-study and post-study. Used panty liners were quantitatively cultured, and vaginal secretions were examined by gas chromatography for fatty acid ratios as a measure of microbial flora shifts. Results: At the pre-study, labial microflora in this study population contained significantly higher frequencies of Staphylococcus, coliforms, other gram-negative rods, and enterococci, and a decreased frequency of Gardnerella vaginalis relative to the vaginal microflora. After 6 months use of panty liners the frequencies (and densities) of the selected microorganisms in these two sites had not changed compared to controls, and fatty acid analyses of vaginal secretions gave no evidence of shifts in the microbial flora. Conclusions: Frequencies of selected genital microflora were different for the labia compared to the vagina. No increased carriage of medically important species was detected for either site after 6 months of daily (average 7.8 h) panty liner use.
Article
Vaginal douching is consistently associated with bacterial vaginosis (BV), but whether it is a cause or result of BV remains unknown. The association between BV and other feminine hygienic behaviors is less studied; if BV symptoms caused behavior change then all hygiene behaviors might be more common among women with BV. Lack of association between nondouching hygiene behavior and BV would argue against reverse causation. In the Longitudinal Study of Vaginal Flora 3620 women had 13,517 visits where BV (Nugent score) was assessed. Associations between hygienic behavior and BV were assessed by Poisson regression. After adjusting for demographic and sexual behavior factors, neither type of underwear (nylon vs. cotton prevalence ratio (PR) 1.05, 95% CI: 0.97-1.13), menstrual protection (tampons vs. pads; PR: 1.04, 95% CI: 0.95-1.12; pads and tampons vs. pads 1.00, 95% CI: 0.92-1.07), use of pads or panty liners when not menstruating (PR: 0.99, 95% CI: 0.95-1.05), nor weekly or greater use of hygiene spray (PR: 1.01, 95% CI: 0.94-1.09), powder (PR: 1.02, 95% CI: 0.96-1.07) or towlettes (PR: 1.03, 95% CI: 0.94-1.13) were strongly associated with BV. PR for daily versus less than daily bathing and showering were 1.06 (95% CI: 1.02-1.12) and 1.04 (95% CI: 1.00-1.09). Douching remained associated with BV (PR for weekly or greater vs. never 1.17, 95% CI: 1.09-1.26) and was not substantially impacted by adjustment for other hygienic behavior. Douching, but not other feminine hygiene behaviors, is significantly associated with BV, providing additional evidence that douching may be causally associated with BV and is not simply a response to BV symptoms.
Article
To determine whether bacterial vaginosis (BV), also known as nonspecific vaginitis, could be diagnosed by evaluating a Gram stain of vaginal fluid, we examined samples from 60 women of whom 25 had clinical evidence of BV and 35 had candidal vaginitis or normal examinations. An inverse relationship between the quantity of the Lactobacillus morphotype (large gram-positive rods) and of the Gardnerella morphotype (small gram-variable rods) was noted on Gram stain (P less than 0.001). When Gram stain showed a predominance (3 to 4+) of the Lactobacillus morphotype with or without the Gardnerella morphotype, it was interpreted as normal. When Gram stain showed mixed flora consisting of gram-positive, gram-negative, or gram-variable bacteria and the Lactobacillus morphotype was decreased or absent (0 to 2+), the Gram stain was interpreted as consistent with BV. Gram stain was consistent with BV in 25 of 25 women given a clinical diagnosis of BV and in none of 35 women with candidal vaginitis or normal examinations. Duplicate slides prepared from 20 additional specimens of vaginal fluid were stained by two methods and examined by three evaluators. Interevaluator interpretations and intraevaluator interpretations of duplicate slides were in agreement with one another and with the clinical diagnosis greater than or equal to 90% of the time. We concluded that a microscopically detectable change in vaginal microflora from the Lactobacillus morphotype, with or without the Gardnerella morphotype (normal), to a mixed flora with few or no Lactobacillus morphotypes (BV) can be used in the diagnosis of BV.
Article
The toxic shock syndrome has only recently been described. Eleven female patients aged 13 to 43 years (median 17) with toxic shock syndrome have been seen at the Mayo Clinic since August 1975. One patient died. Seven patients had one or more recurrences. As previously described, the syndrome was often life-threatening, afflicted mostly menstruating females, and was characterized by a very brief prodromal illness consisting of high fever, vomiting, diarrhea, conjunctivitis, headache, irritability, sore throat, myalgias, abdominal tenderness, and erythematous rash. The disorder can progress to hypotension or prolonged refractory shock, adult respiratory distress syndrome, diffuse intravascular coagulation with severe thrombocytopenia, and renal failure. Pancreatitis was observed in two cases. During convalescence, pronounced desquamation and peeling of the skin occurred. Numerous laboratory abnormalities are observed. In 5 of the 11 patients, Staphylococcus aureus was isolated from conjunctiva, oral cavity or nares, vagina, or stool. A recently described pyrogenic exotoxin was identified in the isolates of three patients; its etiologic role remains speculative. Therapy is mainly supportive. Antistaphylococcal therapy for the acute illness and for prevention of recurrences has not yet proved to be of any benefit. The role of vaginal tampons, if any, in the pathogenesis of this disorder remains unclear.
Article
Many women use panty liners between menstrual periods. The aim of this study was to investigate whether the use of such products might influence the vulva skin. Twelve healthy women were studied on four occasions with three different product constructions and on one occasion without products. Temperature, surface wetness and surface pH were measured on vulva skin. Mean skin temperature when the women were wearing a conventional panty liner (with a non-breathable back sheet) was 35.9 degrees C, compared to 34.4 degrees C when wearing no panty liner at all (p < 0.01) and 34.5 degrees C when using a panty liner with a breathable (i.e. vapour permeable) back sheet (p < 0.01). Skin humidity was significantly higher when the conventional panty liner was used compared to no panty liner or to the breathable panty liner (both cases p < 0.01). The mean pH value at the exterior aspect of the labium majus was 5.8 with the conventional panty liner, 5.2 with no panty liner and 5.3 with the breathable panty liner (p < 0.001 and p < 0.01, respectively). The results indicate that the conventional panty liner changes the vulva skin microclimate, but that the breathable panty liner to a substantial degree keeps the microclimate at an undisturbed level. The actual effect of these differences on microbiological flora will be addressed in a subsequent study.
Article
The aim of this study was to confirm findings that vapour-impermeable panty liners might impair skin climate, and to assess their impact on the skin microflora. Temperature, surface pH and aerobic microflora were measured on vulvar skin of 102 women. The mean skin temperature was 1.1 degrees C higher when using a vapour-impermeable panty liner compared with not using one. Use of panty liners with vapour-permeable back sheets and acidic cores resulted in skin temperature, pH and microflora levels that were very close to those observed in persons not using liners. The temperature, pH and total number of microorganisms were significantly lower for users of vapour-permeable panty liners than for users of vapour-impermeable ones (p <0.05, p<0.001 and p<0.001, respectively). The microorganism densities were usually higher when using the vapour-impermeable panty liner, but mean differences were minor. The use of panty liners seems not to imply a microbial risk for normal, healthy women.
Article
To determine whether there is an association between atopy and recurrent vaginal candidiasis (RVC) and to evaluate the type-2 immune response in patients with RVC. Evaluation of immediate hypersensitivity skin tests to aeroallergens, measurement of total IgE and Candida albicans specific IgE and levels of IL-5 in 44 women with RVC and 26 with sporadic vaginal candidiasis (SVC). Statistical analyses were performed by Mann-Whitney test and chi(2) test with Yates correction. History of atopy (68%) and positive skin test (42%) were higher (P < 0.05) in RVC than in patients with SVC. No significant difference was found in total IgE, C. albicans specific IgE and IL-5 levels. There was a strong association between atopy and RVC, but type-2 immune response to C. albicans antigen was absent or similar in the two groups of patients.
Article
Panty liners are used to absorb light menstrual flow, vaginal discharge, or urine leakage, or to maintain a clean, dry feeling. Allegations that panty liners may trap heat and moisture to promote vulvovaginal candidiasis (VVC) or promote colonization by microbes that contribute to urinary tract infections appear to be unfounded. As reviewed herein, measurements of the impact of panty liners on skin temperature and skin surface moisture had no clinically meaningful effect on cell densities of genital microflora. Epidemiological investigations of a potential link to VVC were either negative or were inconclusive because of confounding factors. Although enteric microbes reside on the vulva and perineum, no evidence exists that panty liner use promotes urethral colonization by enteric microbes. Moreover, a series of 13 randomized prospective trials of panty liners or ultra-thin pads demonstrated no clinically significant adverse effects either on the skin or on isolation frequencies or cell densities of representative genital microflora. Post-market surveillance systems suggest a low incidence of complaints. Evidence from vulvar clinic patients reveals no significant contribution of these products to persistent vulvar symptoms. Taken together, the scientific evidence supports the conclusion that panty liners are safe when used as intended and do not promote VVC or urinary tract infections.
Article
The use of non-culture gene amplification techniques has improved our understanding of the composition of the vaginal bacterial ecosystem. In most healthy women in the reproductive period the predominant vaginal bacteria are one or more of the following species of Lactobacillus: L. crispatus, L. iners and L. gasseri. However, in other apparently healthy women lactobacilli may be deficient or absent, being replaced by other lactic-acid-producing bacteria: Atopobium, Megasphaera and/or Leptotrichia species. Infection and/or proliferation of pathogenic bacteria in the vagina is suppressed by lactic acid production, bacteria-generated antimicrobial products, and the local activities of the innate and cell-mediated immune systems. Vaginal epithelial cells produce a range of compounds with antimicrobial activities. These cells also possess membrane-bound Toll-like receptors that recognize pathogen-associated molecular patterns. Recognition leads to pro-inflammatory cytokine production and antigen-specific immunity. Local production of IgG and IgA antibodies can also be initiated in the endocervix and vagina in response to infection.
Article
Forms of menstrual protection have evolved with time. Today's disposable feminine hygiene products, notably sanitary pads, include a wide range of designs and features to meet women's needs for reliable, discreet, and comfortable protection. Manufacturers support substantive research and testing programs to ensure the safety of these products. The premarket safety assessment of feminine hygiene pads is a systematic, stepwise process that includes toxicological evaluation of the raw materials, the conduct of prospective, controlled clinical trials to assess product safety-in-use, and, in some cases, independent scientific review. A broad clinical database, developed over the past 20 years, substantiates that modern, feminine hygiene pads are not associated with significant gynecological, dermatological, or microbiological effects. Postmarket surveillance provides reassurance that the products are acceptable to consumers worldwide.
Article
Skin problems due to the use of absorbent hygiene products, such as diapers, incontinence pads, and feminine sanitary articles, are mostly due to climate or chafing discomfort. If these conditions are allowed to prevail, these may develop into an irritant contact dermatitis and eventually superficial skin infections. Skin humidity and aging skin are among the most significant predisposing and aggravating factors for dermatitis development. Improved product design features are believed to explain the decline in observed diaper dermatitis among infants. Where adult incontinence-related skin problems are concerned, it is very important to apply a holistic perspective to understand the influences due to the individual's incontinence level and skin condition, as well as the hygiene and skin care measures provided. Individuals with frail, sensitive skin or with skin diseases may preferably have to use high-quality products, equipped with superabsorbent polymers and water vapor-permeable back sheets, to minimize the risk of skin complications.
Secretory immunoglobulin A: a protective factor in the genital mucosa Association between atopy and recurrent vaginal candidiasis
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Giraldo PC, Gonçalves AK, Eleutério Jr J. Secretory immunoglobulin A: a protective factor in the genital mucosa. Braz J Infect Dis 2006;10(4):232–4. [9] Neves NA, Carvalho LP, De Oliveira MA, Giraldo PC, Bacellar O, Cruz AA, et al. Association between atopy and recurrent vaginal candidiasis. Clin Exp Immunol 2005;142(1):167–71.
Budget and Management, Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics. IBGE detects change in the Brazilian family
  • Brazil Ministry
  • Planning
Brazil Ministry of Planning, Budget and Management, Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics. IBGE detects change in the Brazilian family. Synthesis of Social Indicators 2006. http://www.ibge.gov.br/home/presidencia/noticias/ noticia_visualiza.php?id_noticia=774. Published 2006.
Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics. IBGE detects change in the Brazilian family
Brazil Ministry of Planning, Budget and Management, Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics. IBGE detects change in the Brazilian family. Synthesis of Social Indicators 2006. http://www.ibge.gov.br/home/presidencia/noticias/ noticia_visualiza.php?id_noticia=774. Published 2006.