Navigation Links
Petroleum Jelly Tied to Vaginal Infection Risk in Study
Date:3/8/2013

By Amy Norton
HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, March 8 (HealthDay News) -- Women who use petroleum jelly vaginally may put themselves at risk of a common infection called bacterial vaginosis, a small study suggests.

Prior studies have linked douching to ill effects, including bacterial vaginosis, and an increased risk of sexually transmitted diseases and pelvic inflammatory disease. But little research has been conducted on the possible effects of other products some women use vaginally, said Joelle Brown, a researcher at the University of California, San Francisco, who led the new study.

She and her colleagues found that of 141 Los Angeles women they studied, half said they'd used some type of over-the-counter product vaginally in the past month, including sexual lubricants, petroleum jelly and baby oil. Almost as many, 45 percent, reported douching.

When the researchers tested the women for infections, they found that those who'd used petroleum jelly in the past month were more than twice as likely as non-users to have bacterial vaginosis.

Bacterial vaginosis occurs when the normal balance between "good" and "bad" bacteria in the vagina is disrupted. The symptoms include discharge, pain, itching or burning -- but most women have no symptoms, and the infection usually causes no long-term problems.

Still, bacterial vaginosis can make women more vulnerable to sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV. It also sometimes leads to pelvic inflammatory disease, which can cause infertility.

The new findings, reported in the April issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology, do not prove that petroleum jelly directly increased women's risk of bacterial vaginosis.

But it's possible, said Dr. Sten Vermund, director of the Institute for Global Health at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville, Tenn.

Petroleum jelly might promote the growth of bad bacteria because of its "alkaline properties," explained Vermund, who was not involved in the study.

"An acidic vaginal environment is what protects women from colonization from abnormal organisms," Vermund said.

He noted that many studies have now linked douching to an increased risk of vaginal infections. And that may be because the practice "disrupts the natural vaginal ecology," Vermund said.

Normally, the vagina predominantly contains "good" bacteria that produce hydrogen peroxide. And experts say that this natural environment "cleans" the vagina; women do not need special products to do it.

Yet many women continue to douche, using products that may contain irritating antiseptics and fragrances. Up to 40 percent of U.S. women aged 18 to 44 douche regularly, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

"The frequency with which American women use unnecessary and harmful intravaginal products is unfortunate," Vermund said.

It's not certain that douching, itself, causes infections, but the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists advises women against the practice.

The current findings are based on a group of racially diverse women who agreed to screening for sexually transmitted diseases. Slightly more than one-quarter were HIV-positive.

Overall, Brown's team found, 21 percent of the women had bacterial vaginosis, and 6 percent had a yeast infection. Women who'd used petroleum jelly in the past month were 2.2 times more likely to have bacterial vaginosis than non-users. That was with other factors, including race, age and douching habits, taken into account.

It did not appear that women were using the product because of symptoms. Women with the infection were no more likely to report vaginal symptoms than other women were. And none of those with symptoms said they used petroleum jelly for relief.

In contrast to those findings, douching was not linked to bacterial vaginosis risk in the study.

Brown said this could be the result of having only a small number of women in the study "and the fact that women used various substances for intravaginal washing -- which undoubtedly varied substantially in their chemical constituents and concentrations."

Similarly, sexual lubricants were not linked to increased odds of bacterial vaginosis. That finding echoes what past studies have found, Vermund said, so women who need sexual lubricants for comfort can take some reassurance, he noted.

Still, Brown said that larger studies are needed to confirm these findings, and to understand how various products can affect women's health if they are used vaginally.

For now, she recommended that women ask questions before using any product vaginally. "Women should talk with their health care providers and ask them if the products they are using inside their vagina are known to be safe for use in the vagina," Brown said.

More information

The U.S. National Library of Medicine has more information on vaginal diseases.

SOURCES: Joelle M. Brown, Ph.D., M.P.H., epidemiologist, University of California, San Francisco; Sten H. Vermund, M.D., Ph.D., director, Institute for Global Health, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, Tenn.; April 2013, Obstetrics & Gynecology


'/>"/>
Copyright©2012 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Zinc Shows Promise Against Deadly Jellyfish Venom
2. US Drug Watchdog Launches Now Calls Transvaginal Mesh A Disaster For 100,000's of US Women Recipients And Offers The Names and Contacts Of The Best Women Attorneys
3. Johnson & Johnson Violated FDA Order to Halt Sales of Transvaginal Mesh
4. Vaginal delivery as safe as cesarean for most early preterm births
5. Vaginal Deliveries as Safe as C-Sections for Most Preterm Births
6. Treated Vaginal Ring Prevents HIV in Monkeys
7. Maturitas publishes clinical guide on low-dose vaginal estrogens for vaginal atrophy
8. US Drug Watchdog Now Fears the Numbers of Transvaginal Mesh Product Failure Victims Will Grow and They Offer Victims the Names of the Best Lawyers-Who Will All Be Women
9. US Drug Watchdog Now Urges Transvaginal Mesh, Tape Or Sling Failure Victims To Call Them For The Names Of The Best Possible Attorneys-Who Are All Also Women-Get Help Now
10. US Drug Watchdog Now Offers All Victims Of A Transvaginal Mesh, Sling, or Tape Failure The Names And Contacts Of The Best Possible National Caliber Lawyers Who Are Women
11. US Drug Watchdog Expands Their Transvaginal Mesh Initiative Because Of The Potential Number Of Victims & They are Offering the Names of the Best Women Attorneys To Help
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Petroleum Jelly Tied to Vaginal Infection Risk in Study
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 26, 2016 , ... PawPaws brand pet supplements owned by ... to enhance the health of felines. The formula is all-natural and is made from ... the PawPaws Cat Kidney Support Supplement Soft Chews are Astragalus Root Extract ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... 25, 2016 , ... The temporary closing of Bruton Memorial Library on June 21 due to ... a new, often overlooked aspect of head lice: the parasite’s ability to live away from ... common occurrence, but a necessary one in the event that lice have simply gotten out ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... On Friday, June 10, Van Mitchell, Secretary ... Work award to iHire in recognition of their exemplary accomplishments in worksite health promotion. ... Maryland Workplace Health & Wellness Symposium at the BWI Marriott in Linthicum Heights. iHire ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Marcy was in a crisis. Her son James, eight, ... at his family verbally and physically. , “When something upset him, he couldn’t control his ... it. He would throw rocks at my other children and say he was going to ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... ... Topical BioMedics, Inc, makers of Topricin and MyPainAway Pain Relief Products, join The ‘Business for ... $12 an hour by 2020 and then adjusting it yearly to increase at the same ... wage, assure the wage floor does not erode again, and make future increases more predictable. ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... June 24, 2016 ... announced the addition of the " Global Markets ... This report focuses ... an updated review, including its applications in various applications. ... market, which includes three main industries: pharmaceutical and biotechnology, ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016 Research ... World Market for Companion Diagnostic Tests" report to their ... Market for Companion Diagnostics The World Market ... and personalized medicine diagnostics. Market analysis in the report includes ... Test Market (In Vitro Diagnostic Kits) by Region (N. America, ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016  MedSource announced today ... its e-clinical software solution of choice.  This latest ... possible value to their clients by offering a ... preferred relationship establishes nowEDC as the EDC platform ... MedSource,s full-service clients.  "nowEDC has long been a ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: