Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is an infection of a woman's ovaries,
fallopian tubes, and/or uterus. Treatment with
can help prevent long-lasting problems.
What Are the Signs & Symptoms of PID?
The most common symptom of PID is lower belly pain. The pain may get worse during
Other symptoms can include:
pain when peeing
irregular periods or spotting
Sometimes women with PID have no symptoms.
What Causes PID?
Pelvic inflammatory disease is usually caused by a sexually transmitted disease
(STD). STDs (also
called sexually transmitted infections or STIs) are infections that spread through
sex (vaginal, oral, or anal). Chlamydia
and gonorrhea are the STDs
that most often lead to PID.
Who Gets PID?
Sexually active women can get PID. It happens more often in women who have more
than one sexual partner.
A woman can get pelvic inflammatory disease more than once if her partners
with STDs don't get treatment, or if she has sex with someone else who has an STD.
How Is PID Diagnosed?
To find out if someone has PID, health care providers:
ask about sexual activity
ask about symptoms
do a physical exam, including a pelvic exam
test urine (pee) and vaginal discharge for STDs
Sometimes more testing is needed. For example, an ultrasound or CT scan may be
done to look at the uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries.
How Is PID Treated?
Health care providers treat PID with antibiotics. All sexual partners from the
past 2 months need treatment too.
Women who are getting treated for PID should not have sex until:
treatment is finished and they don't have any signs of PID
partners have been treated and have no symptoms
What Can Happen if PID Isn't Treated?
If pelvic inflammatory disease isn't treated or went on a long time before being
treated, women can have problems such as:
ongoing pain in the lower belly
trouble getting pregnant (infertility)
pregnancy in the fallopian tube instead of the uterus (an ectopic pregnancy)
an infection in the ovary and fallopian tube (a tubo-ovarian abscess)
Can PID Be Prevented?
The best way to prevent PID and STDs is to not
have sex (oral, vaginal, or anal). Someone who does decide to have sex should
use a latex condom every time.
Women who are sexually active shuold get tested for STDs every year, or more often
if recommended by their health care provider.