Objective: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of metronidazole treatment on the incidence of postoperative pelvic inflammatory disease after first-trimester abortion in women with bacterial vaginosis.
Study design: A double-blind, randomized, multicenter study was conducted on 231 women undergoing first-trimester legal abortion and fulfilling the criteria for bacterial vaginosis. The women were randomized to either metronidazole 500 mg three times daily for 10 days or placebo. Treatment was started at the outpatient visit the week before the operation.
Results: Among the 174 women who could be evaluated, pelvic inflammatory disease developed in 14 after the abortion. In the treatment group there were three infections (3.8%) compared with 11 (12.2%) in the placebo group (p less than 0.05).
Conclusion: These data suggest that patients with bacterial vaginosis should be treated in conjunction with first-trimester abortion because treatment with metronidazole reduces the postoperative infection rate more than three times.