Teenage females frequently do not fill antibiotic prescriptions to treat diagnosed sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

Almost half of those diagnosed with STIs in the United States are adolescents. Untreated STIs among females can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease, which can complicate women’s ability to get pregnant in the future.

Publishing their findings in JAMA Pediatrics, researchers conducted a retrospective cohort study at two emergency departments affiliated with a large urban children’s hospital. The study included data on females 13 to 19 years old who received antimicrobial prescriptions between January 2016 and December 2017 following a diagnosis of pelvic inflammatory disease or chlamydia.

Out of 696 visits to the emergency department on the part of adolescent females, 208 young women received outpatient prescriptions for antimicrobials. A total of 57.7% of these prescriptions were filled.

The investigators wish to conduct future research to identify factors that impede the filling of such prescriptions. Hopefully, the findings of such studies can help researchers design interventions that successfully encourage young women to complete treatment for STIs.

To read the study abstract, click here.