Research Article

Sexually transmitted diseases in a defined population of women.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1981; 283 doi: (Published 04 July 1981) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1981;283:29
  1. M W Adler,
  2. E M Belsey,
  3. J S Rogers


    A study was conducted to identify and estimate the proportion of patients suffering from gonorrhoea, trichomoniasis, and candidosis, both with and without symptoms, seeking care or failing to seek care at all. Samples women in a defined population were studied in antenatal, gynaecology, family planning, and sexually transmitted diseases clinics and in general practice. The incidence rates varied according to the conditions and to whether cases not proved microbiologically were included or excluded. The incidence rate may be less important than the prevalence rate since the former takes into account patients who have sought care whereas the latter is largely contributed by asymptomatic women who do not consult. The highest prevalence rates, in different agencies, were found for candidosis followed by trichomoniasis, with very low or zero rates for gonorrhoea. In view of these results general practitioners could treat women with genital symptoms empirically so long as accurate sexual histories are taken and follow-up were guaranteed. There is no place for wide-scale screening for gonorrhoea, but limited screening for trichomoniasis in antenatal, gynaecology, and hospital family planning clinics should be encouraged.