Annual Screening for a STD Not Effective

LONDON, April 9 (UPI) — Annual screening for chlamydia, a sexually transmitted disease isn’t effective in detecting pelvic inflammatory disease, British researchers say.

Dr. Pippa Oakeshott of St. George’s, University of London says the study involved 2,529 sexually active female students ages 16-27 at 20 universities and colleges in London.


The study participants completed questionnaires, provided vaginal swabs and agreed to a follow-up after one year.

Chlamydia is the most common STD in the United States and Europe. Women often have no symptoms and many are not diagnosed, but if left untreated it can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease which can result in infertility, chronic pelvic pain and ectopic pregnancy.

At the beginning of the study, about 5 percent of the women were found to have chlamydia, but 79 percent developed chlamydia before the year ended, Oakeshott said.

The study, published in the British Medical Journal, suggests an annual screening may not be effective, but that individuals should be tested for chlamydia whenever they have a new sexual partner.

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