Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)

Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is an infection of some of the reproductive organs, including the fallopian tubes, ovaries and uterus. PID is not a sexually transmitted infection (STI), but it can be a complication of untreated STIs, such as chlamydia or gonorrhea.

If left untreated, PID can cause severe pain and infertility (inability to have children). It can increase the risk of having a tubal (ectopic) pregnancy.

Symptoms

Some people with PID do not have symptoms. If symptoms occur, they can include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Discharge from the vagina that is different than usual
  • Pain or bleeding during or after sex
  • Fever

Prevention

Condoms and dental dams can prevent the spread of STIs such as chlamydia and gonorrhea. Get tested regularly for STIs. Prompt treatment for chlamydia and gonorrhea can prevent PID. Having multiple partners increases your risk of getting STIs.

Testing

There is no test for PID. Your health care provider will conduct a pelvic examination to diagnose PID.

Treatment

PID can be treated with antibiotics. Start treatment as early as possible because treatment can stop damage to the reproductive organs but it cannot undo any existing damage. The full treatment is needed to clear the infection. Take all the medication even if you feel better.

Return to your health care provider two to three days after completing treatment for re-testing. PID that is not treated properly can become a serious infection requiring hospitalization.

Sex Partners

PID can be caused by STIs such as chlamydia and gonorrhea. If you were diagnosed with an STI, your sex partner(s) also need to be treated so they do not develop serious health problems, re-infect you or pass the infection on to others. Tell all of your sex partners from the previous two months about your infection so that they can be examined and treated.

More Information