The use of vaginal antimicrobial after large loop excision of transformation zone: a prospective randomised trial


Dr KKL Chan, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Hong Kong, Queen Mary Hospital, 102, Pokfulam Road, Hong Kong. Email


Objective To investigate whether the use of an antibacterial vaginal pessary containing tetracycline and amphotericin B would reduce complications from large loop excision of the transformation zone (LLETZ).

Design Prospective randomised controlled trial.

Setting Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Hong Kong.

Population A total of 321 women who underwent LLETZ.

Methods Women were randomised to either receiving an antimicrobial vaginal pessary twice a day for 14 days after LLETZ or no medication. Before LLETZ, endocervical and high vaginal swabs were taken for the detection of Chlamydia and other pathogens. All women were given a diary to record the degree of symptoms, such as vaginal discharge, bleeding and pain for 3 weeks. These were then compared between the two groups.

Main outcome measures Bleeding, vaginal discharge and pain after LLETZ.

Results There was no significant difference in the total bleeding, vaginal discharge and pain scores between the two groups. However, for women who had positive endocervical or high vaginal swabs, the treatment group had significantly less bleeding in the second week (Z=−2.083, P= 0.037) and less overall vaginal discharge (Z=−2.024, P= 0.043).

Conclusions An antimicrobial vaginal pessary containing tetracycline and amphotericin B did not provide any significant benefit after LLETZ, except for a subgroup of women with positive vaginal or endocervical swabs. Given that this group of women cannot be identified before the procedure since swabs are not routinely taken, the use of routine prophylactic topical antibiotics cannot be recommended for the general population.