Objective: To determine the frequency and factors associated with perceived vaginal infections among married women in their postpartum period.
Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted from July 2000 to October 2000 in five squatter settlements of Karachi, Pakistan. These squatter settlements were selected on the basis of an existing surveillance system run by female community health workers for maternal and child healthcare which identified women who had delivered 42-56 days prior to the date of interview. Vaginal infection was considered present when a mother perceived foul smelling vaginal discharge during the postpartum period. Mothers were interviewed to gain insight into socioeconomic and demographic variables, materials used to staunch lochia, duration of labour, personal and perineal hygiene and past obstetric history.
Results: A total of 525 women were interviewed. The estimated prevalence of perceived vaginal infection was 5.1%. Factors associated with perceived vaginal infections included, delivery conducted by a non-medical personnel (AOR 3.5, CI 1.3-9.5) and use of unhygienic cloth or cotton for staunch of lochia (AOR 2.7, CI 1.1-6.2).
Conclusion: Among women who reported perceived vaginal infection, a higher proportion were delivered by non-medical personnel, and used unhygienic material (cloth or cotton) for staunch of lochia as compared to women who did not perceive vaginal infection. We recommend deliveries to be conducted by trained personnel and provision of health education for persons who conduct delivery and women to use hygienic material for staunch of lochia during post partum period (JPMA 56:99;2006).
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/tazeen_ali/23/