An assessment of pre-operative microbial screening on the prevention of post-abortion pelvic inflammatory disease

Br J Obstet Gynaecol. 1984 Feb;91(2):182-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1471-0528.1984.tb05904.x.


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.

MeSH terms

  • Abortion, Induced*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Bacteria / isolation & purification
  • Candidiasis / epidemiology
  • Cervix Mucus / microbiology
  • Female
  • Genital Diseases, Female / epidemiology*
  • Gonorrhea / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mass Screening*
  • Pelvic Inflammatory Disease / prevention & control*
  • Postoperative Complications / prevention & control
  • Pregnancy
  • Preoperative Care
  • Vagina / microbiology