Information on Pelvic Inflammatory Disease

An infection that develops in a woman’s uterus and other reproductive organs is called Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID). It is a condition that commonly affects females who are younger than 25 years of age. Every year over a million women get PID. It is a disease that can be avoided, and it is one that should be immediately treated if it manifests.    

Causes of PID

Sexually transmitted diseases like chlamydia and gonorrhea cause PID. If you have an STD and do nothing to cure it, Pelvic Inflammatory Disease will most likely develop. Sexual encounters where you or your partner engage in sex with more than one person cause PID as well. Other causes include using an IUD, a prior history of the disease, and douching. Douching can force an existing infection into other areas of the reproductive system. You can avoid getting PID by not douching, by not engaging in sexual intercourse, by protecting yourself with a latex condom if you do have sex, or by having sex with only one person and that person does not have an STD.

Symptoms of PID

Sometimes the symptoms of PID are non-existent. When they do appear they may be mild or severe or somewhere in between. Pain in the area of the stomach is the number one symptom of this disease. Other symptoms include an above normal temperature, an unpleasant smelling discharge, pain during intercourse or when urinating, and untimely menstruation. If gonorrhea is the cause, rapid development of PID is accompanied by intense discomfort and fever.

Treatment for PID

Treatment for PID will depend on many factors. It can be as simple as taking antibiotics, but if you feel extremely ill, are with child, are found with an abscess in one of your fallopian tubes or ovaries, or are not getting results after taking pills or you are unable to get them down, admission to a hospital may be necessary. Surgery may be performed if the symptoms do not disappear after treatment.

If you think you have Pelvic Inflammatory Disease, see your doctor before the bacteria that develops infects your fallopian tubes. PID that is not treated has been reported to cause infertility by creating scar tissue that blocks the fallopian tubes. This disease can also cause ectopic pregnancy.


New York State Department of Health

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


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