High prevalence of Mycoplasma genitalium in women presenting for termination of pregnancy

Contraception. 2008 Apr;77(4):294-8. doi: 10.1016/j.contraception.2007.12.002. Epub 2008 Mar 4.


Background: Sexually transmitted infections increase the risk of postoperative complications after termination of pregnancy. Mycoplasma genitalium is sexually transmitted and associated with adverse clinical outcomes in both males and females. The prevalence of M. genitalium is not yet known in New Zealand women or among women presenting for termination of pregnancy.

Study design: This study involved prospective data collection at a public hospital clinic for termination of pregnancy. Participants were 300 under 25-year-old women presenting for termination of pregnancy. The study aimed to describe the prevalence of M. genitalium in women presenting for termination of pregnancy using real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing. Women provided a vaginal swab that was sent to the laboratory for PCR detection of M. genitalium. Data collection included age, ethnicity, previous pregnancy history, gestational age, procedure type, results of STI tests performed on referral for a termination of pregnancy (C. trachomatis, N. gonorrhoeae, T. vaginalis and bacterial vaginosis) and use of antimicrobials in the past 3 weeks.

Results: M. genitalium was detected in 26 women (8.7%). Rates of infection did not differ significantly by patient characteristics such as age, ethnicity or previous pregnancies. Infection with M. genitalium was not significantly associated with bacterial vaginosis or C. trachomatis infection.

Conclusions: To our knowledge, this is the first prospective study designed to determine the prevalence of M. genitalium in women presenting for termination of pregnancy. Given the high proportion of cases observed in this study, further research is needed to determine the clinical significance of M. genitalium in postoperative termination of pregnancy complications.

MeSH terms

  • Abortion, Induced*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mycoplasma Infections / epidemiology*
  • Mycoplasma genitalium*
  • New Zealand / epidemiology
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious / epidemiology*
  • Prevalence
  • Prospective Studies
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Bacterial / epidemiology