Prevalence of gonorrhoea among women using various methods of contraception

Br J Vener Dis. 1975 Oct;51(5):307-9. doi: 10.1136/sti.51.5.307.


Among 2,005 women attending a contraceptive clinic 9-3 per cent. were found to have gonorrhoea. When these women were classified according to the method of contraception used at the time of their initial visit to the clinic, the following prevalence of gonorrhoea was observed: oral contraceptives 11-5 per cent., intrauterine contraceptive devices 9-9 per cent., barrier methods (condom-diaphragm-foam) 4-2 per cent. These differences are statistically significant. The authors suggest that the additional protective advantage of barrier methods should be considered when the physician and patient are selecting appropriate methods of contraception.

PIP: Cultures from 2005 women attending the Caddo Family Planning Clinic in Shreveport, Louisiana between March 1 and September 7, 1973 were evaluated for the presence of gonorrhea. Individual cultures were obtained from the endocervical canal, the cryptal area of the anus, and the posterior oropharnynx and tonsillar fossae. 9.3% of the women were found to have gonorrhea. The highest prevalence rate of gonococcal infection, based on positive cultures from 1 or more sites, was in women using oral contraception (11.5%), followed by those usings IUDs (9.9%), no contracepion (7.8%), condom-diaphragm-foam (4.2%), and sterilized (3.3%). The use of orals or IUDs was associated with a significantly higher risk of infection than that observed with barrier methods or sterilization (p less than .05). The gonorrheal rate among postpartum patients was similar to that of nonpuerperal women; it would be wise to screen patients for gonorrhea shortly before giveing birth.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anal Canal / microbiology
  • Cervix Uteri / microbiology
  • Contraception*
  • Contraceptive Agents
  • Contraceptive Devices
  • Contraceptives, Oral
  • Female
  • Gonorrhea / epidemiology*
  • Gonorrhea / microbiology
  • Humans
  • Intrauterine Devices
  • Louisiana
  • Male
  • Mouth / microbiology
  • Neisseria gonorrhoeae / isolation & purification


  • Contraceptive Agents
  • Contraceptives, Oral