Sexually Transmitted Diseases and Reproductive History in Women with Experience of Casual Travel Sex Abroad

Per-Anders Mårdh, Maria Arvidson, Dan Hellberg
DOI: 138-142 First published online: 1 September 1996


Background The objective of this study was to determine whether the frequency of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and some reproductive events in women with experience of casual travel sex (CTS) abroad with previously unknown male partners differed when compared to women lacking such experience.

Methods Nine hundred and ninety-six women seeking contraceptive advice from two family planning clinics and a youth clinic were studied. Two hundred and seventy-six of these women (27.7%) admitted experience of CTS.

Results Among current STDs, only the prevalence of cervical human papilloma virus infection was significantly higher in women with a history of CTS when compared to the comparison (COMP) group (11.2% vs. 0.7%). A history of gonorrhea, genital chlamydial infection, and genital warts was reported significantly more often in women with, rather than without, CTS (p=0-.005). Women who had experienced CTS had a lower rate of childbirth, but higher rates of legal abortion and pelvic inflammatory disease than did females in the COMP group.

Conclusion The study shows that women with experience of CTS belong to a group at high risk for acquisition of STDs. This increased risk, with the exception of genital warts, was attributed to sexual risk taking in general, not merely to traveling abroad.