The Journal of Lower Genital Tract Disease is retracting a paper it published online in April by a group of Egyptian researchers in the wake of a dispute they couldn’t resolve.
The article, “The Patterns and Criteria of Vaginal Douching and the Risk of Preterm Labor Among Upper Egypt Women,” came from a team at Assiut University. According to the abstract:
Our study identifies vaginal douching as a risk factor for preterm labor and specifies the risk according to the method, frequency, nature, and timing of douching.
MATERIALS AND METHODS:
This is a hospital-based case-control study. A total of 480 women were recruited. Women were classified into case group (history of preterm labor) and control group (no history of preterm labor). An interview questionnaire was administered, which included participants’ data and criteria of douching practice.
Among participants who regularly douched (73.13%), 281 (80.06%) used it for cleanliness and religious considerations. Women who have been regularly douched were at higher risk of preterm labor (adjusted odds ratio [OR] = 1.9; 95% CI = 1.078-3.278; p = .026). The method (fingers vs pump) and the frequency of douching were significantly relevant. The risk of douching during pregnancy was borderline (adjusted OR = 2.1; 95% CI = 1.001-4.446; p =.05). Douching several times per day has an OR of 4.05 (95% CI = 1.196-13.737; p =.025) when compared with the monthly frequency.
Vaginal douching is associated with higher risk of preterm labor. We recommend that the risk of asymptomatic bacterial vaginosis should be considered.
But as the retraction notice states:
As the authorship of article ‘‘The Patterns and Criteria of Vaginal Douching and the Risk of Preterm Labor Among Upper Egypt Women’’ is in dispute and irresolvable, the article is retracted from publication in the Journal of Lower Genital Tract Disease.
Thomas M. Julian, MD
Khodary MM, Shazly SAM, Ali M, Badee AYA, Shaaban OM. The Patterns and Criteria of Vaginal Douching and the Risk of Preterm Labor Among Upper Egypt Women. J Lower Gen Tract Dis 2013. doi: 10.1097/LGT.0b013e31826febb0.[Epub ahead of print].
Julian told us a bit more:
We received a note from the corresponding author saying one of the listed authors had not given permission for use of this data, despite our usual authorship forms being sent with the submission. We could not contact the first author to clarify this, so at the request of the corresponding author and the complainant, the article was retracted.