Does the Vaginal Flora Modify When a Synthetic Mesh is Used for Genital Prolapse Repair in Postmenopausal Women? A Pilot, Randomized Controlled Study

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The vaginal flora from postmenopausal women with pelvic organ prolapse (POP) is different from younger women. We hypothesized that the decision of a surgical route using a mesh would modify the vaginal flora. The purpose of this study was to analyze the vaginal flora from postmenopausal women that were submitted to abdominal sacrocervicopexy or vaginal sacrospinous fixation.


A pilot, randomized controlled study with 50 women aged 55 to 75 years (n = 25; abdominal sacrocervicopexy + subtotal hysterectomy; n = 25 vaginal sacrospinous fixation + vaginal hysterectomy) was performed. A polyvinylidene mesh was used in both arms. The vaginal content analysis was collected before and 60 days after the surgery. The type of flora, the presence of lactobacilli/leukocytes, and the Nugent criteria were analyzed.


Most of the women were white (80%), with at least 1 comorbidity (69.9%), did not present sexual activity (60%), and presented advanced stage 4 POP. Two thirds of women presented a type 3 flora, and half of them did not present lactobacilli (48.3%). About the Nugent criteria, 51.7% presented normal flora, 46.6% found altered flora, and 1.7% had bacterial vaginosis. There were no differences about the type of flora (P = 1), number of lactobacilli (P = 0.9187), Nugent criteria (P = 0.4235), inflammation (P = 0.1018), and bacterial vaginosis (P = 0.64) before and after surgery in both groups.


In this pilot study, the use of synthetic mesh by vaginal or abdominal route did not affect the vaginal flora in postmenopausal women operated on by POP surgery.

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