Original research article| Volume 77, ISSUE 4, P294-298, April 2008

Download started.


High prevalence of Mycoplasma genitalium in women presenting for termination of pregnancy



      Sexually transmitted infections increase the risk of postoperative complications after termination of pregnancy. Mycoplasma genitalium is sexually transmitted and associated with adverse clinical outcomes in both males and females. The prevalence of M. genitalium is not yet known in New Zealand women or among women presenting for termination of pregnancy.

      Study Design

      This study involved prospective data collection at a public hospital clinic for termination of pregnancy. Participants were 300 under 25-year-old women presenting for termination of pregnancy. The study aimed to describe the prevalence of M. genitalium in women presenting for termination of pregnancy using real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing. Women provided a vaginal swab that was sent to the laboratory for PCR detection of M. genitalium. Data collection included age, ethnicity, previous pregnancy history, gestational age, procedure type, results of STI tests performed on referral for a termination of pregnancy (C. trachomatis, N. gonorrhoeae, T. vaginalis and bacterial vaginosis) and use of antimicrobials in the past 3 weeks.


      M. genitalium was detected in 26 women (8.7%). Rates of infection did not differ significantly by patient characteristics such as age, ethnicity or previous pregnancies. Infection with M. genitalium was not significantly associated with bacterial vaginosis or C. trachomatis infection.


      To our knowledge, this is the first prospective study designed to determine the prevalence of M. genitalium in women presenting for termination of pregnancy. Given the high proportion of cases observed in this study, further research is needed to determine the clinical significance of M. genitalium in postoperative termination of pregnancy complications.


      To read this article in full you will need to make a payment

      Purchase one-time access:

      Academic & Personal: 24 hour online accessCorporate R&D Professionals: 24 hour online access
      One-time access price info
      • For academic or personal research use, select 'Academic and Personal'
      • For corporate R&D use, select 'Corporate R&D Professionals'


      Subscribe to Contraception
      Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
      Already an online subscriber? Sign in
      Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect


        • Abortion Supervisory Committee
        Report of the Abortion Supervisory Committee 2005.
        in: Presented to the House of Representatives pursuant to Section 39 of the Contraception, Sterilisation and Abortion Act 1977: New Zealand2006
      1. Department of Health: Abortion statistics, England and Wales. 2005, Statistical Bulletin 2006/01. Crown; 2006.

      2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Abortion Surveillance United States 2003. Atlanta: National Centre for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, 2003.

        • Larsson P.G.
        • Platz-Christensen J.J.
        • Dalaker K.
        • et al.
        Treatment with 2% clindamycin vaginal cream prior to first trimester surgical abortion to reduce signs of postoperative infection: a prospective, double-blinded, placebo-controlled, multicenter study.
        Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand. 2000; 79: 390-396
        • Sawaya G.F.
        • Grady D.
        • Kerlikowske J.K.
        • Grimes D.A.
        Antibiotics at the time of induced abortion: the case for universal prophylaxis based on a meta-analysis.
        Obstet Gynecol. 1996; 87: 884-890
        • Stevenson M.M.
        • Radcliffe K.W.
        Preventing pelvic infection after abortion.
        Int J STD AIDS. 1995; 6: 305-312
        • Ross J.D.C.
        • Jensen J.S.
        Mycoplasma genitalium as a sexually transmitted infection: implications for screening, testing, and treatment.
        Sex Transm Infect. 2006; 82: 269-271
        • Waites K.B.
        • Katz B.
        • Schelonka R.L.
        Mycoplasmas and ureaplasmas as neonatal pathogens.
        Clin Microbiol Rev. 2005; 18: 757-789
        • Anagrius C.
        • Lore B.
        • Jensen J.S.
        Mycoplasma genitalium: prevalence, clinical significance, and transmission.
        Sex Transm Infect. 2005; 81: 458-462
        • Cohen C.R.
        • Mugo N.R.
        • Astete S.G.
        • et al.
        Detection of Mycoplasma genitalium in women with laparoscopically diagnosed acute salpingitis.
        Sex Transm Infect. 2005; 81: 463-466
        • Simms I.
        • Eastick K.
        • Mallinson H.
        • et al.
        Associations between Mycoplasma genitalium, Chlamydia trachomatis, and pelvic inflammatory disease.
        Sex Transm Infect. 2003; 79: 154-156
        • Pepin J.
        • Labbe A.C.
        • Khonde N.
        • et al.
        Mycoplasma genitalium: an organism commonly associated with cervicitis among West African sex workers.
        Sex Transm Infec. 2005; 81: 67-72
        • Haggerty C.L.
        • Totten P.A.
        • Astete S.G.
        • Ness R.B.
        Mycoplasma genitalium among women with nongonococcal nonchlamydial pelvici nflammatory disease.
        Infect Dis Obstet Gynecol. 2006; 2006 ([ID 30184]): 1-5
        • Perez G.
        • Skurnick J.H.
        • Denny T.N.
        • et al.
        Herpes simplex type II and Mycoplasma genitalium as risk factors for heterosexual HIV transmission: report from the heterosexual HIV transmission study.
        Int J Infect Dis. 1998; 3 ([see comment]): 5-11
        • Crotchfelt K.A.
        • Welsh L.E.
        • DeBonville D.
        • Rosenstraus M.
        • Quinn T.C.
        Detection of Neisseria gonorrhoeae and Chlamydia trachomatis in genitourinary specimens from men and women by a coamplification PCR assay.
        J Clin Microbiol. 1997; 35: 1536-1540
        • Schachter J.
        • McCormack W.M.
        • Chernesky M.A.
        • et al.
        Vaginal swabs are appropriate specimens for diagnosis of genital tract infection with Chlamydia trachomatis.
        J Clin Microbiol. 2003; 41: 3784-4739
        • Jensen J.S.
        Mycoplasma genitalium infections. Diagnosis, clinical aspects, and pathogenesis.
        Danish Med Bull. 2006; 53: 1-27
        • Labbe A.C.
        • Frost E.
        • Deslandes S.
        • Mendonca A.P.
        • Alves A.C.
        • Pepin J.
        Mycoplasma genitalium is not associated with adverse outcomes of pregnancy in Guinea-Bissau.
        Sex Transm Infect. 2002; 78: 289-291
        • Lu G.C.
        • Schwebke J.R.
        • Duffy L.B.
        • et al.
        Midtrimester vaginal Mycoplasma genitalium in women with subsequent spontaneous preterm birth.
        Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2001; 185: 163-165
        • Edwards R.K.
        • Ferguson R.J.
        • Reyes L.
        • Brown M.
        • Theriaque D.W.
        • Duff P.
        Assessing the relationship between preterm delivery and various microorganisms recovered from the lower genital tract.
        J Matern-Fetal Neonatal Med. 2006; 19: 357
        • Kataoka S.
        • Yamada T.
        • Chou K.
        • et al.
        Association between preterm birth and vaginal colonization by mycoplasmas in early pregnancy.
        J Clin Microbiol. 2006; 44: 51-55
      3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Sexually Transmitted Diseases Treatment Guidelines 2002.
        Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2002; 51: 1-78
        • Rose S.B.
        • Lawton B.A.
        • Bromhead C.
        • MacDonald J.
        • Lund K.A.
        Self-obtained vaginal swabs for PCR Chlamydia testing: a practical alternative.
        Aust N Z J Obstet Gynaecol. 2007; 47: 415
        • Oakeshott P.
        • Hay P.
        • Taylor-Robinson D.
        • et al.
        Prevalence of Mycoplasma genitalium in early pregnancy and relationship between its presence and pregnancy outcome.
        BJOG. 2004; 111: 1464-1467
        • Blackwell A.L.
        • Emery S.J.
        • Thomas P.D.
        • Wareham K.
        Universal prophylaxis for Chlamydia trachomatis and anaerobic vaginosis in women attending for suction termination of pregnancy: an audit of short-term health gains.
        Int J STD AIDS. 1999; 10: 508-513
        • Crowley T.
        • Lowb N.
        • Turnerc A.
        • Harvey I.
        • Bidgoodd K.
        • Horner P.
        Antibiotic prophylaxis to prevent post-abortal upper genital tract infection in women with bacterial vaginosis: randomised controlled trial.
        Br J Obstet Gynaecol. 2001; 108: 396-402
        • Falk L.
        • Fredlund H.
        • Jensen J.S.
        Tetracycline treatment does not eradicate Mycoplasma genitalium.
        Sex Transm Infect. 2003; 79: 318-319
        • Bradshaw C.S.
        • Jensen J.S.
        • Tabrizi S.N.
        • et al.
        Azithromycin failure in Mycoplasma genitalium urethritis.
        Emerg Infect Dis. 2006; 12: 1149-1152