To review the evidence and provide recommendations on screening for and management of vulvovaginal candidiasis, trichomoniasis, and bacterial vaginosis.
OUTCOMES evaluated include the efficacy of antibiotic treatment, cure rates for simple and complicated infections, and the implications of these conditions in pregnancy.
Published literature was retrieved through searches of MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, and The Cochrane Library in June 2013 using appropriate controlled vocabulary (e.g., vaginitis, trichomoniasis, vaginal candidiasis) and key words (bacterial vaginosis, yeast, candidiasis, trichomonas vaginalis, trichomoniasis, vaginitis, treatment). Results were restricted to systematic reviews, randomized control trials/controlled clinical trials, and observational studies. There were no date limits, but results were limited to English or French language materials. Searches were updated on a regular basis and incorporated in the guideline to May 2014. Grey (unpublished) literature was identified through searching the websites of health technology assessment and health technology-related agencies, clinical practice guideline collections, and national and international medical specialty societies.
The quality of evidence in this document was rated using the criteria described in the Report of the Canadian Task Force on Preventive Health Care (Table 1). Summary Statements 1. Vulvovaginal candidiasis affects 75% of women at least once. Topical and oral antifungal azole medications are equally effective. (I) 2. Recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis is defined as 4 or more episodes per year. (II-2) 3. Trichomonas vaginalis is a common non-viral sexually transmitted infection that is best detected by antigen testing using vaginal swabs collected and evaluated by immunoassay or nucleic acid amplification test. (II-2) 4. Cure rates are equal at up to 88% for trichomoniasis treated with oral metronidazole 2 g once or 500 mg twice daily for 7 days. Partner treatment, even without screening, enhances cure rates. (I-A) 5. Current evidence of the efficacy of alternative therapies for bacterial vaginosis (probiotics, vitamin C) is limited. (I) Recommendations 1. Following initial therapy, treatment success of recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis is enhanced by maintenance of weekly oral fluconazole for up to 6 months. (II-2A) 2. Symptomatic vulvovaginal candidiasis treated with topical azoles may require longer courses of therapy to be resolved. (1-A) 3. Test of cure following treatment of trichomoniasis with oral metronidazole is not recommended. (I-D) 4. Higher-dose therapy may be needed for treatment-resistant cases of trichomoniasis. (I-A) 5. In pregnancy, treatment of symptomatic Trichomonas vaginalis with oral metronidazole is warranted for the prevention of preterm birth. (I-A) 6. Bacterial vaginosis should be diagnosed using either clinical (Amsel's) or laboratory (Gram stain with objective scoring system) criteria. (II-2A) 7. Symptomatic bacterial vaginosis should be treated with oral metronidazole 500 mg twice daily for 7 days. Alternatives include vaginal metronidazole gel and oral or vaginal clindamycin cream. (I-A) 8. Longer courses of therapy for bacterial vaginosis are recommended for women with documented multiple recurrences. (I-A).