Evid Based Nurs 7:30 doi:10.1136/ebn.7.1.30
  • Qualitative

Women associated vaginal symptoms with disease and sexual infidelity

 Q How do women interpret vaginal sensations as symptoms and construct these symptoms as problems requiring medical care?


Qualitative study.


A family health centre serving a multi-ethnic, working class population in New York City, USA.


44 women >18 years of age who were diagnosed with vaginitis (ICD-9 code 616.10) in the previous 4 months.


Women participated in semistructured telephone interviews of 30–45 minutes, during which interviewers took indepth notes. Data collection and analysis were based on an iterative process. Women were asked to generate illness narratives of symptom and treatment experiences. The semistructured component of the interview was based on the Illness Representation Model.


Most women had some combination of itching, discharge, and odour. Conceptions of [a] normal [vagina]. Women judged normality based on characteristics of vaginal discharge (eg, quantity, colour, odour, consistency, and timing in relation to the menstrual cycle). Although most felt that some discharge was normal, …

No Related Web Pages

Free Sample

This recent issue is free to all users to allow everyone the opportunity to see the full scope and typical content of EBN.
View free sample issue >>

EBN Journal Chat

The EBN Journal Chat offers readers the opportunity to participate in discussion about research articles and commentaries from Evidence Based Nursing (EBN).

How to participate >>

Don't forget to sign up for content alerts so you keep up to date with all the articles as they are published.

Navigate This Article