Many infections among women do not produce recognizable symptoms until complications such as PID have occurred. PID, whether symptomatic or asymptomatic, can cause tubal scarring leading to infertility or ectopic pregnancy.
Selection of a treatment regimen for N, gonorrhoeae infection requires consideration of the anatomic site of infection, resistance of N. gonorrhoeae strains to antimicrobials, the possibility of concurrent infection with C. trachomatis, and the side effects and costs of the various treatment regimens.
NGU or inflammation of the urethra not caused by gonococcal infection, is characterized by a mucoid or purulent urethral discharge. In the presence or absence of discharge, NGU may be diagnosed by a greater than or equal to 5 polymorphonuclear leukocytes per oil immersion field on a smear of an intraurethral swab specimen.
Complications of NGU among men infected with C. trachomatis include epididymitis and Reiter’s syndrome. Female sex partners of men who have NGU are at risk for chlamydial infection and associated complications.
Among women several important sequelae may result from C. trachomatis infection, the most serious among them being PID, ectopic pregnancy and infertility.
Treatment of infected patients prevents transmission to sex partners, and for infected pregnant women may prevent transmission of C. trachomatis to infants during birth. Treatment of sex partners will help to prevent re-infection of the index patient and infection of other parents.