Trichomonas vaginalis infection in Nigerian pregnant women and risk factors associated with sexually transmitted infections

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Abstract

Trichomoniasis poses a public health threat to pregnant women and neonatal health. This study evaluated Trichomonas vaginalis and other common sexually transmitted infections (STIs) status in pregnant women, and risk factors associated with them. The study was cross-sectional and descriptive and a total of 198 pregnant women were recruited for T. vaginalis screening by microscopic examination. Questionnaires were also administered to 108 pregnant women to access information related to socio-demography and other factors associated with STI transmission. The overall prevalence of T. vaginalis was 18.7%. While prevalence of T. vaginalis was neither age nor parity dependent (p > 0.05), women in their first trimester showed significantly higher prevalence of trichomoniasis compared to women in their second and third trimesters (p < 0.05). The frequency of STIs was lowest (18.2%) and highest (71.4%) in age groups ≥ 39 and 15–20 years, respectively. Low levels of education, multiple sexual partners, lack of knowledge on partners’ STI history, and having sex under the influence of alcohol or drugs were risk factors of for STIs (p < 0.05). We found a high prevalence of T. vaginalis in pregnant women, with those at an early gestational age at greater risk. The improved education of women on safe sex and the need to know partners’ STI status are advocated.

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