Sophy project: an observational study of vaginal Ph and lifestyle in women of different ages and in different physiopathological conditions
Keywords:vagina, vaginal discharge, Candida, vaginosis bacterial, sexual behavior
Aim: The importance of vaginal pH and vaginal flora in maintaining a well-balanced vaginal ecosystem is well known and has been widely described. However, no systematic nationwide studies have been carried out concerning the correlation between vaginal pH, life style and different physiopathological conditions in women of different ages.
Methods: SOPHY (Study on pH and Hygiene) collected data concerning the lifestyle, vaginal pH, and the presence of symptoms, stratified into different subgroups (prepuberal, fertile, pregnancy, postpartum, premenopause and menopause) in a representative sample of the Italian gynecological population (264 gynecologists for a total of 2 641 women) with the aid of a specific Internet site for data entry.
Results: A more acid vaginal pH was related to a better satisfactory sexual activity and to more healthy genital condition. A positive relationship was detected between education level and good perception of sexuality. Certain clothing habits and a higher frequency of candidiasis and bacterial vaginosis were shown.
Conclusion: SOPHY revealed some interesting correlations between clothing and the frequency of candidiasis and bacterial vaginosis, between vaginal pH and satisfactory sexual activity, and between education and sexuality. SOPHY had a considerable educational impact, leading the physicians and women to consider vaginal pH as an important aspect of everyday life.
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