Bacterial vaginosis (BV) and candida are common problems among females using contraception. Associations between BV/candida and different contraception are described but not proven.Aim(s)/objectives
Establish knowledge of BV/candida among contraceptive users. Assess whether future research on BV/candida and contraception would interest patients.Methods
Surveys were distributed to females at two sexual health clinics and a student General Practice by staff not seeing patients. Responses were anonymous. Questions included knowledge of BV/candida, existing contraception, future contraceptive choices related to BV/candida and importance of research findings.Results
298 completed a survey; 157/298 attending for contraception (90% using/starting a method), 141/298 attending for other sexual health reasons/GP consultation. Of 157 contraception patients, 22% were <20yrs, 96% were <35yrs. Overall, 40% had heard of BV and 39% of candida but in <20yrs, 26% had heard of BV, 17% candida. 47% were interested in outcomes of further research between BV/candida and contraception (30% neutral, 17% not interested), rising to 56% in those who had heard of BV and/or candida. Similar results were seen in surveys from 141 females not attending for contraception (58% interested if heard of BV and/or candida). 81% stated they would definitely/probably change from a contraceptive if it was proven to increase the development of BV/candida, and they acquired the infection.Discussion
There is patient interest in further research assessing associations between contraception and BV/candida, which would influence contraception choices. Patients preferred more knowledge on any links between contraceptive types and BV/candida rather than number of recurrences or persistence of symptoms.