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Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)

Pelvic inflammatory disease facts*

*Pelvic inflammatory facts medical author: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

  • Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is an infection and inflammation of a woman's pelvic organs including the uterus (womb), Fallopian tubes (tubes), ovaries, and cervix.
  • PID is very common and is estimated to affect around 1 million women every year in the US.
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease usually develops as the result of spread of a sexually-transmitted disease (STD).
  • Most cases of pelvic inflammatory disease are caused by gonorrhea and/or Chlamydia, although several different types of bacteria can be responsible.
  • Young, sexually active women with multiple sex partners are at greatest risk for pelvic inflammatory disease. Douching and a history of PID are other risk factors.
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease many not produce any symptoms or signs (referred to as being asymptomatic). In other cases it can cause
    • fever,
    • abdominal or pelvic pain,
    • vaginal discharge,
    • painful urination, or
    • painful sexual intercourse.
  • The treatment of pelvic inflammatory disease involves antibiotics directed against the organisms responsible for the disease.
  • Complications of untreated pelvic inflammatory disease can include scarring of the pelvic organs and infertility.
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease can be life-threatening in severe cases.


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