The long-term objectives of NICHD research related to vaginitis are to reduce rates of vaginitis and the burden of bothersome symptoms and associated adverse health outcomes. To this end, NICHD-supported studies focus on the following:
Epidemiology of Vaginitis
NICHD research efforts aim to identify and to understand behavioral and biological factors that increase susceptibility to vaginitis and contribute to its remission. Studies also are looking at the various aspects of the association between vaginal infections and pregnancy complications.
Pathogenesis and Microbiology
The normal vaginal microenvironment is dominated by several Lactobacillus species that protect against overgrowth of endogenous bacteria and infectious pathogens. NICHD scientists are studying the vaginal flora, the protective actions of these Lactobacilli, and the mechanisms by which flora imbalances occur and infections arise.
Scientists supported by the NICHD are pursuing formative research for the development of interventions to protect against vaginitis.