Gonorrhea, genital chlamydial infection, and nonspecific urethritis in male partners of women hospitalized and treated for acute pelvic inflammatory disease

Sex Transm Dis. May-Jun 1993;20(3):143-6. doi: 10.1097/00007435-199305000-00005.


Background and objectives: Acute pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is often a complication to a sexually transmitted disease (STD), the most important agents being Neisseria gonorrhoeae and Chlamydia trachomatis. However, very little is known of the genitourinary status of the male partners of women with acute pelvic inflammatory disease (PID).

Goal of this study: To determine the presence of N. gonorrhoeae and/or C. trachomatis infection or nonspecific urethritis (NSU) in regular sexual male partners of women with acute PID.

Study design: Two hundred regular sexual male partners to 196 women admitted to a hospital for treatment of acute PID were referred by contact tracing to the sexually transmitted disease outpatient clinic for clinical and laboratory examination regarding N. gonorrhoeae and/or C. trachomatis infection, or NSU defined as the presence of > 5 polymorphonuclear leukocytes per high-power field (x1,000) in > 4 fields and with negative laboratory tests for N. gonorrhoeae and C. trachomatis.

Results: The majority of the males was in the age group 20 to 29 years of age, female sexual partners in 15 to 24 years years of age. N. gonorrhoeae was demonstrated in 42.9% of the male partners to women with acute PID and concomitant gonorrhea. The corresponding figure for C. trachomatis was 43.7%. Nonspecific urethritis was diagnosed in 26 (33.8%) of the male partners to 77 women were diagnosed with N. gonorrhoeae and/or C. trachomatis infection, and in 45 (37.8%) partners of 119 women without such an infection. In all, N. gonorrhoeae, C. trachomatis or NSU were demonstrated in 117 (59.7%) of the 196 male partners, but only 32% of the males with N. gonorrhoeae or C. trachomatis and 8.5% of those with NSU presented subjective symptoms of urethritis.

Conclusion: The findings of the study stress the need for routine clinical and laboratory examination and treatment of sexual male partners to women with acute PID.

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Chlamydia Infections / epidemiology
  • Chlamydia Infections / transmission*
  • Chlamydia trachomatis*
  • Female
  • Gonorrhea / epidemiology
  • Gonorrhea / transmission*
  • Hospitalization
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pelvic Inflammatory Disease / drug therapy
  • Pelvic Inflammatory Disease / microbiology*
  • Sexual Partners*
  • Sweden / epidemiology
  • Urethritis / epidemiology*