To assess the relationship between combined contraceptive vaginal ring (CVR) and vaginal microbiome using 16S rRNA gene sequencing.
Materials and methods:
We enrolled 20 women for 8 weeks in an open-label study using CVR (NuvaRing®) that delivered 15 mcg ethinylestradiol and 120 mcg etonogestrel daily.
The vaginal microbiome was assessed at baseline and after 2 months by sequencing the 16S rRNA genes amplified from the total genomic DNA isolated from the sample.
Bacterial distribution richness and equity did not significantly change after 2 months, and the dominant bacterial strain was Lactobacillus crispatus.
Only one woman with a history of vestibulodynia and recurrent vulvovaginitis showed an increase in bacterial biodiversity, with a switch to the relative abundance of anaerobic bacteria.
Our results suggest that CVR does not adversely affect the composition and structure of the vaginal microbiome.
However, special care should be taken in patients with a history of vestibulodynia and/or recurrent vulvovaginal infections.