The outcome of termination of pregnancy was observed in relation to the preoperative clinical and microbiological findings in 167 women attending a day care abortion unit in Liverpool. Before termination, Chlamydia trachomatis was isolated from the cervix of 19 (11%) of the patients and high counts (greater than 10(4) colour changing units (ccu) per ml of specimen) of mycoplasmas were found in 30 (18%). Coexistent infections with chlamydiae and high counts of mycoplasmas occurred in only seven (4%) women. Trichomonas vaginalis, yeasts, or pathogenic bacteria were found in vaginal swabs from 30 (18%) women. After undergoing termination, seven (4%) women developed pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), five (71%) of whom had yielded C trachomatis before undergoing termination. A further 13 (8%) patients developed minor morbidity of the upper genital tract; high count mycoplasmal infection had been found in seven (54%) and chlamydial infection in three (23%) of these women before termination. In contrast, C trachomatis had been isolated from only 11 (8%) and high counts of mycoplasmas from 23 (16%) of the 147 women who had uneventful recoveries after undergoing termination. No correlation was apparent between the presence of vaginal pathogens before termination and the development of untoward sequelae postoperatively. Neither the history nor clinical examination before termination would have indicated that chlamydial or mycoplasmal infections were present, or that postoperative complications were likely to occur. Abnormal cervical cytology, however, was found in 86 (52%) of women overall, including 15 (79%) of the 19 women with chlamydial infection.
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