Chlamydia trachomatis was cultured from the cervix of 70 of 557 (12.6%) patients admitted for therapeutic abortion. Postoperatively, 22 (3.9%) developed acute pelvic inflammatory disease (PID); of these women, 14 (63.6%) had harboured C trachomatis in the cervix before the abortion. Thus of 70 patients with chlamydial infection, 14 (20%) developed PID postoperatively. Of the chlamydia-positive patients, six of the 15 (40%) aged less than 20 years and eight of the 53 (15%) patients aged 20-30 years developed PID. Twelve of the 70 women with chlamydial infections showed a significant increase in serum chlamydial IgG antibody titres over a four week period; four of these women developed PID. Neisseria gonorrhoeae was recovered from only four patients, one of whom developed PID after the abortion. Treatment with a single dose of intravenous doxycycline (200 mg) was given before and during surgery to about half of the patients. In our study, this regimen had no protective effect against the development of PID associated with C trachomatis.
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