In a study of 3794 consecutive women attending a gynaecological outpatient clinic with symptoms of lower genital tract infection (LGTI) 350 (9.2%) harboured Chlamydia trachomatis and 83 (2.2%) Neisseria gonorrhoeae. One hundred and ninety-five patients who were later found to have acute salpingitis and 109 other women in whom the chlamydial cultures were spoiled were excluded from the series. Of the remaining 3490 women, 281 were infected with C trachomatis, 42 with N gonorrhoeae, and 17 with both. Of the 3150 women who were infected with neither organism, 146 were randomly selected as controls. The chlamydia-positive patients were younger (P less than 0.001), did not complain of pelvic discomfort or pain (P less than 0.01), and used oral contraceptives (P less than 0.001) more frequently than did the controls; intrauterine devices were used more often (P less than 0.01) by the controls. Increased vaginal discharge was reported significantly more often in chlamydia-positive patients than in the controls (P less than 0.05). Of 266 women harbouring C trachomatis the organism was still present in 22 (8.3%) when they were followed up from two to more than eight weeks after finishing treatment with doxycycline. Of 91 male consorts of chlamydia-positive women, 53 (58.2%) were infected with C trachomatis.
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