May 29th, 2022

A full text version of this article is available.
To access article obtain online access here or login
Marijuana Use in Women of Reproductive Age and Recurrent Bacterial Vaginosis
Authors:  Victoria Vallejo, M.D., Weiwei Shan, Ph.D., John G. Ilagan, M.D., and Gary L. Goldberg, M.D.
  OBJECTIVE: To evaluate whether marijuana use in reproductive-age women is associated with recurrent bacterial vaginosis (BV).

STUDY DESIGN: We performed a retrospective cohort study of all women of reproductive age (15–45 years old) who presented with a complaint of vaginal discharge and who were subsequently diagnosed with bacterial vaginosis, from 10 clinics for underserved patients in New York City, from January 1–December 31, 2019. The cohort was divided based on whether they met criteria for recurrent bacterial vaginosis, defined as 3 or more separate positive vaginal cultures with Gardnerella vaginalis in a 12-month period following their initial BV diagnosis. Descriptive statistics were used to compare both groups in terms of sociodemographic and medical history. Logistic regression analysis was used to estimate adjusted odds ratios with a 95% confidence interval.

RESULTS: Of 4,752 women who presented with a complaint of a vaginal discharge, 1,380 (29.04%) had bacterial vaginosis, and of those, 5.8% (n=80) met the criteria for recurrent bacterial vaginosis. Marijuana use was significantly associated with the presence of recurrent BV (adjusted odds ratio 2.05; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.19–3.44). Conversely, increase in age was associated with a decreased likelihood of developing recurrent bacterial vaginosis (adjusted odds ratio 0.96; 95% confidence interval 0.92–0.99). Gonorrhea infection was statistically higher in women with recurrent BV as compared to women without recurrent BV (5% vs. 1.3%, p<0.01).

CONCLUSION: Reproductive-age women who self-report the use of marijuana have twice the odds of developing recurrent BV. Also, women with recurrent BV are more likely to test positive for gonorrhea.
Keywords:  asthma, bacterial vaginosis, contraception, Gardnerella vaginalis, gonorrhea, marijuana, sexually transmitted diseases, smoking, vaginal discharge
  Acrobat Reader 7.0 is recommended to properly view and print the article.
Reader can be downloaded from