Is vaginal douching associated with preterm delivery?

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Is vaginal douching associated with preterm delivery?

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GROUND: To examine the hypothesized association between vaginal douching and preterm delivery, we conducted a study among women in a managed care organization in Atlanta, GA. METHODS: We drew a stratified random sample of 262 preterm (20-36 weeks’ gestation) and 804 term deliveries that occurred between January 1996 and April 1997. Data were collected from telephone interviews and medical records. We used proportional hazards regression to compute gestation-specific conditional probabilities of delivery. The risk of preterm delivery associated with douching was examined, adjusted for potential confounders. RESULTS: Douching during pregnancy increased the overall risk of preterm delivery (hazard ratio = 1.9, 95% confidence interval = 1.0-3.7). CONCLUSIONS: Further research to clarify the relation between douching and preterm delivery should pay particular attention to the role of vaginal infections.

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