Papers And Originals

Diagnosis of Gonorrhoea in Women: Comparison of Sampling Sites

Br Med J 1973; 2 doi: (Published 30 June 1973) Cite this as: Br Med J 1973;2:748
  1. M. N. Bhattacharyya,
  2. A. E. Jephcott,
  3. R. S. Morton


    A total of 250 women, 100 of them named contacts of men with gonorrhoea, were tested for infection. Each had prepared smear and culture specimens from urethra, endocervix, and vagina. The smears were Gram-stained and examined immediately. Cultures were taken using Stuart's transport medium with later inoculation of both selective and non-selective media for each specimen.

    It was shown that examination of specimens from urethra and endocervix gave results superior to those found on examination of vaginal material alone. The study revealed that nearly one infected woman in three would have been missed if vaginal material only had been examined. Failure to secure a prompt scientific diagnosis has serious epidemiological implications.

    Our results find support in the work of others. We conclude that the suggestion in some quarters that examination of vaginal material for the detection of gonococci is adequate should be abandoned. Any who feel unwilling to accept this view should at least supplement their testing with examination of urethral and endocervical specimens.