Vaginal PO2 in healthy women and in women infected with Trichomonas vaginalis: Potential implications for metronidazole therapy

Abdel L. Rashad, William Toffler, Nina Wolf, Kent Thornburg, E. Paul Kirk, Gene Ellis, W. E. Whitehead

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Scopus citations


We measured the Po2, pH, and temperature in the vaginal canals of nine patients with symptomatic Trichomonas vaginitis and those of 10 healthy women. The patients included eight women with primary infections caused by metronidazole-susceptible strains and one refractory case that resulted from infection with a metronidazole-resistant Trichomonas vaginalis. The median vaginal Po2, pH, and temperature in the patient group were 1 mm Hg, 6, and 37.3° C respectively; these medians were 1 mm Hg, ≤4.5, and 37.2° C in the healthy group. These data show that vaginal environment is anaerobic or microaerophilic (it has reduced oxygen tension). Because the activity of metronidazole is reduced under aerobiosis, the vaginal environment should enhance the biologic activity of the drug.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)620-624
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1992



  • metronidazole
  • trichomoniasis
  • Vaginal Po

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

Cite this