Intended for healthcare professionals

Research Article

Periurethral aerobic microflora of pregnant and non-pregnant women.

Br Med J 1978; 1 doi: (Published 20 May 1978) Cite this as: Br Med J 1978;1:1314
  1. I Bollgren,
  2. V Vaclavinkova,
  3. B Hurvell,
  4. G Bergqvist


    Seventy-two pregnant and 88 non-pregnant women were examined to see whether the periurethral region had been colonised with group B streptococci (Streptococcus agalactiae), enterococci, and Gram-negative rods belonging to the Enterobacteriaeceae. A semi-quantitative method was used for periurethral sampling, and paired urethral swabs were also collected to compare the isolation rates of group B streptococci from the two sites and with the two sampling methods. A higher isolation rate was found with periurethral sampling. Most specimens showed no or scanty growth of Gram-negative rods. Pregnancy was often associated with heavy growth of enterococci. Sampling performed during menstruation and while oral contraceptives were being used produced high isolation rates of group B streptococci. These results seem to suggest that the periurethral area might protect against genital colonisation with group B streptococci as it does against urinary tract infection and that hormonal factors influence the carriage of these organisms.