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Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Introduction Contents Post-Test References Go To Presenter Info


Section 1
Section 2
Section 3

- Topics
- Introduction
- Objectives
- Approaches
- Laboratory
- Clinical
- Syndromic
- Syndromic
- Strengths
- Weaknesses
- Accuracy
- Genital Ulcer
- Algorithm
- Urethral
- Algorithm
- Vaginal
- Vaginitis
- Cervicitis
- Algorithms
> Algorithms
- Algorithms
- Abdominal
- Algorithm
- Algorithm
- Other Issues
- Treatment
- Screening
- The Four Cs
- Resources
- HIV Testing
- Vaccination
- Preliminary
- Summary


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Section 3 - STD Management

Vaginal Discharge: Algorithms (continued)

Vaginal Discharge: Algorithms diagram

Slide 67

This algorithm shows how the client’s risk factors for STDs can be incorporated into the decision process. This approach would be appropriate for most populations served by FP/MCH providers.

When a woman presents with vaginal discharge, the provider assesses her risk of infection by asking a series of questions on demographic variables and behavioral factors. The answers to the questions guide the provider’s treatment approach. Sample questions are:

  • Does your partner have any STD symptoms?
  • Have you had sex with more than one person or with a new partner in the preceding three months?
  • Are you younger than 21 years of age?
  • Are you single?

If a woman answers yes to some of these questions and hence appears at higher risk of STDs, the provider treats her for both vaginitis and cervicitis.

If a woman appears at low risk for STD infection, the provider treats only for vaginitis. The woman is advised to return if the discharge persists, when she will be treated for cervicitis.

If a woman does not clearly belong in either the high- or low-risk group, the provider does further assessment, if possible, and considers local STD prevalence data. The assessment could be a pelvic exam or inexpensive laboratory test such as a Gram stain, which can help distinguish between vaginitis and cervicitis. Prevalence rates of gonorrhea and chlamydia within the population being served can also help the provider determine appropriate treatment, since these infections cause cervicitis.



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