Chlamydia trachomatis in family planning. Is screening necessary?.

D Guerreiro, M J Borrego, L da C Teles, M D Catry

Abstract


The authors used cellular cultures obtained from endocervix samples in order to determine the predominant factors of infection caused by Chlamydia trachomatis in a population of 391 women who attended a family planning consultation. The authors studied the relation between the infection and the following variables: age, geographical origin, social class, marital status, history of sexually transmitted diseases (STD), risk behaviours, contraceptive methods and attitudes towards both the disease and therapy. Chlamydia trachomatis was isolated in 7 women (1,8%). The highest infection rates were found in the following categories: women between the ages of 35-40 (4,9%), women who resort to hormonal contraception (3,4%), women between the ages of 20-25 (3,2%) and single women and/or women who do not have a regular partner (2,6%). No statistically relevant relation between the above variables and the infection was found, although a relatively high risk was revealed for women who resort to hormonal contraception (O.R = 7,4). The authors have concluded the following: 1. There is no need to proceed with the systematic universal screening of infection caused by Chlamydia trachomatis in the yearly family planning consultations for the low risk STD populations; 2. Hormonal contraception is a factor to be considered when selecting the women to be screened; 3. The yearly gynaecological supervision of women who attend family planning consultations is an important factor in checking the disease; 4. Information on the couple's attitude towards the disease and therapy is essential in the prevention of relapses.

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