Sexually Transmitted Diseases and Gynecologic Symptoms and Signs in Women With a History of Induced Abortion

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Abstract

Objective:

To investigate associations between a history of induced abortion and current or previous sexually transmitted diseases and other gynecologic infections.

Methods:

A cohort study was performed at two family planning clinics and one youth clinic. Of 996 women, 192 (19.3%) admitted a history of induced abortion, whereas the remaining 804 women served as a control group. A structured, personal interview which included details on previous genital infections and gynecologic symptoms and a gynecologic examination was performed. Genital chlamydial infection, gonorrhea, genital herpes, genital warts, cervical human papillomavirus infection, bacterial vaginosis, candidiasis, and bacteria associated with bacterial vaginosis were diagnosed.

Results:

Both a history of genital infections, with the exception of vulvovaginal candidiasis, and current genital symptoms were more common in women with a history of induced abortion, compared with the control group. Age-adjusted odds ratios ranged from 1.5 (history of genital warts, 95% confidence interval (95% CI 0.9-2.5) to 5.0 (history of gonorrhea, 95% CI 2.6-9.7). Odds ratios for current bacterial vaginosis was 1.9 (95% CI 1.2-2.9) and for vulvovaginal candidiasis 1.8 (95% CI 1.1-2.7).

Conclusion:

Women attending a clinic for an induced abortion could be a target group for sexually transmitted disease information programs.

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