Teratogenic potential of vaginal metronidazole treatment during pregnancy

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33 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To study the human teratogenic potential of vaginal metronidazole treatment during pregnancy. Design and setting: The analysis of cases with different congenital abnormalities and their matched controls in the population-based data set of the large Hungarian Case-Control Surveillance of Congenital Abnormalities (HCCSCA), 1980-1996. Study participants: Pregnant women (38,151) who had newborn infants without any congenital abnormalities (control group), 22,843 pregnant women who had newborn infants or fetuses with congenital abnormalities. Main outcome measures: Twenty-two congenital abnormality groups. Results: The prevalence of vaginal metronidazole treatment during pregnancy was 1.7% in the case group (388 pregnant women), while it was 1.5% in the control group (570 pregnant women) [crude prevalence odds ratio (POR) with 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.1, 1.0-1.3]. Comparisons of cases and their matched controls showed an association between vaginal metronidazole treatment during the second and third months of gestation and congenital hydrocephalus (adjusted POR with 95% CI: 10.7, 1.1-104.5), however, based only on five cases. The evaluation of medically recorded metronidazole treatment did not confirm this association. Conclusion: Our finding can only be regarded as a signal for the possible association between vaginal treatment with metronidazole during pregnancy and congenital hydrocephalus.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)174-178
Number of pages5
JournalEuropean Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Reproductive Biology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2005


  • Case-control study
  • Congenital abnormalities
  • Congenital hydrocephalus
  • Metronidazole
  • Vaginal administration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology

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