Five hundred women were examined for lower genital tract infection before vaginal termination of pregnancy. Pre-operatively, Neisseria gonorrhoeae was isolated from nine women (1.8%); five of eight male partners also had gonorrhoea. All the women with gonorrhoea were treated at least 48 h pre-operatively with ampicillin and probenicid; three of them had symptoms of pelvic infection pre-operatively and one had symptoms postoperatively. Of these women, 120 (24%) had a follow-up examination within 47 days of abortion; 15 (3%) required an evacuation of retained products of conception and only 12 (2%) had mild suspected pelvic infection. Screening for Neisseria gonorrhoeae and treatment pre-operatively prevented pelvic infection in a further eight patients.