Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) is an infection of a woman’s reproductive organs. It’s usually caused by a sexually transmitted bacteria that spread from your vagina to your uterus, fallopian tubes or ovaries. Common symptoms include pelvic pain and fever. There might be a discharge from the vagina and irregular menstrual bleeding. However, there are often no signs or symptoms. PID can lead to serious complications, including infertility, ectopic pregnancy (a pregnancy in the fallopian tube or elsewhere outside of the womb), and chronic pelvic pain. If you suspect that you have Pelvic Inflammatory Disease, it is important to visit a healthcare professional promptly. Treatment typically involves antibiotics to clear the infection.

Pelvic Inflammatory diseas

Causes of Pelvic inflammatory disease

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) is usually caused by sexually transmitted bacteria that ascend from the vagina or cervix to the uterus, fallopian tubes, ovaries, and surrounding tissues. While the most common pathogens involved are Neisseria gonorrhoeae and Chlamydia trachomatis, various other microorganisms including, bacterial vaginosis-associated bacteria and other sexually transmitted bacteria, can also cause PID.

Risk factors that can increase the likelihood of developing PID include being sexually active and under 25, having multiple sexual partners, douching (which can disrupt the balance of bacteria in the vagina and mask symptoms), and having a history of sexually transmitted infections or previous PID. Use of intrauterine devices (IUDs) was previously thought to increase the risk of PID, current evidence indicates the risk is minimal after the first few weeks following insertion.

Risk Factors of Pelvic inflammatory disease

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) is an infection of the female reproductive organs. It’s usually caused by sexually transmitted bacteria that spread from your vagina to your uterus, fallopian tubes or ovaries. The risk factors for PID include:

1. Being sexually active and under age 25: The highest number of cases of PID occur in women aged 15 to 24.

2. Having multiple sexual partners: The more partners you have, the greater your risk of sexually transmitted infections, which can lead to PID.

3. Being in a sexual relationship with a person who has more than one sex partner: This increases your risk of sexually transmitted infections, which can lead to PID.

4. Prior history of PID: If you’ve had PID or a sexually transmitted infection before, you’re more likely to develop PID again.

5. Use of intrauterine device (IUD): Women who use an IUD for contraception might be at higher risk, especially if they also have multiple sexual partners. However, this risk significantly decreases after the first three weeks of use.

6. Douching: Douching upsets the balance of bacteria in your vagina, can spread infections up into the uterus, and can mask symptoms of PID or an STI.

7. Substance abuse: Using recreational drugs, especially those taken by injection, can increase the risk of PID. Substance abuse often goes hand in hand with risky sexual behaviors.

Remember that the most effective way to prevent PID is by practicing safe sex, regular testing for STIs, and in some cases, by not using an IUD for birth control. Regular check-ups and visits to a gynecologist also contribute to maintaining good reproductive health.

Signs and Symptoms of Pelvic inflammatory disease

Pelvic inflammatory disease is an infection of a woman’s reproductive organs that is often developed as a complication of sexually transmitted infections. Its signals and symptoms may include:

1. Pain in the lower abdomen or pelvis: This is the most common symptom of PID. It can range from mild to severe and is often worse during sexual intercourse.

2. Heavy vaginal discharge with an unpleasant odor: It might change in color, consistency, and odor.

3. Irregular menstrual bleeding: This can include spotting between periods or unusually heavy periods.

4. Pain during intercourse: As PID affects the reproductive organs, intercourse might become painful.

5. Fever – A high temperature could be a sign of infection.

6. Painful urination: This is due to inflammation in the urinary tract that can be caused by PID.

7. Increased heart rate: Bodies sometimes speed up the heart rate to fight infections.

These symptoms can also be associated with other health conditions. Therefore, if a woman experiences any of these symptoms it is essential that she consults a healthcare professional to get an accurate diagnosis. Mild symptoms must not be ignored as silent PID can lead to serious complications, including infertility, ectopic pregnancy, abscess formation, or chronic pelvic pain.

Diagnosis Pelvic inflammatory disease

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) is an infection of the female reproductive organs. It usually occurs when sexually transmitted bacteria spread from your vagina to your uterus, fallopian tubes or ovaries. Common symptoms include pelvic pain, fever, abnormal vaginal discharge, painful urination, or pain during sex.

PID can cause permanent damage to the female reproductive system, leading to long-term pelvic pain, infertility, and ectopic pregnancy (pregnancy outside the womb). It’s usually caused by a sexually transmitted infection, such as chlamydia or gonorrhea, but can also occur after procedures like IUD insertion or an abortion.

Diagnosis of PID typically involves a combination of your medical history, a physical exam, and diagnostic tests. These may include samples taken from your vagina or cervix, blood tests, or imaging studies such as an ultrasound. If diagnosed and treated early, the complications can be prevented.

Most often, treatment involves antibiotics to clear the infection. In severe cases, surgery might be necessary. To prevent PID, practicing safe sex, getting regular STI tests and getting treated as soon as possible if you have an STI, is recommended.

Treatment of Pelvic inflammatory disease

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) is an infection of the female reproductive organs. It’s usually caused by sexually transmitted bacteria that spread from your vagina to your uterus, fallopian tubes or ovaries.

Treatment for PID primarily involves the use of antibiotics. Here are the basic steps of treating PID:

1. Antibiotics: These medications are usually the first line of treatment for PID. Often, two antibiotics are prescribed to treat a variety of bacterial infections. It’s important to take the full course of antibiotics as prescribed, even if symptoms improve or disappear. It’s also necessary for a patient’s sexual partner to get tested and treated to prevent reinfection.

2. Hospitalization: In some severe cases, hospitalization might be required. This is typically the case in situations where a patient is very sick, pregnant, does not respond to or cannot swallow pills, or in cases where the diagnosis is uncertain.

3. Surgery: In extreme, rare cases where an abscess ruptures or the infection doesn’t respond to treatment, surgery might be needed. Surgery might involve draining an abscess or, in severe cases, removing the uterus (hysterectomy), ovaries or fallopian tubes.

After initial treatment, follow-up care is crucial to ensure that the infection has been completely eliminated.

PID can cause serious complications, like chronic pelvic pain and infertility, if not treated promptly. Therefore, it is crucial to prevent PID by having regular gynecological checkups, practicing safe sex and getting treated for any sexually transmitted infections promptly. Seek medical help if you experience severe lower abdominal pain, especially if accompanied by a fever or nausea and vomiting.

Medications commonly used for Pelvic inflammatory disease

Treatment for Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) involves a course of antibiotics to treat the infection. Here are the commonly used medications:

1. Ceftriaxone: Ceftriaxone is a cephalosporin antibiotic that is often used to treat gonorrhea, one of the STIs that can lead to PID.

2. Doxycycline: Available as an oral pill or an injection, this antibiotic is commonly used to treat bacterial infections, including chlamydia and gonorrhea.

3. Metronidazole: This medication is used to treat certain types of bacterial infections, including bacterial vaginosis, and may sometimes be used alongside other antibiotics for PID.

4. Azithromycin: This antibiotic is often used to treat chlamydia, one of the most common causes of PID. It is typically taken once a week for two weeks.

5. Levofloxacin and Ofloxacin: These are fluoroquinolones, a type of broad-spectrum antibiotics. They’re often used when other antibiotics are not effective.

Please note, the combination of antibiotics or particular antibiotic prescribed can vary depending on the severity of the PID and the likely causative organisms. It’s important that all sexual partners are also treated simultaneously to prevent re-infection.

While antibiotics can treat the infection, they can’t reverse any damage that the infection has already caused. Hence, early detection and treatment are crucial. As always, it’s best to take these medications as prescribed by your healthcare provider and follow their advice.

Remember that using barrier methods like condoms can help prevent STIs, which in turn can help reduce the risk of PID.

Prevention of Pelvic inflammatory disease

Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is an infection of a woman’s reproductive organs often caused by sexually transmitted bacteria. To prevent PID, the following steps can be considered:

1. Practice Safe Sex: The most efficient way to prevent PID is to avoid sexually transmitted infections (STIs) that often lead to PID. This involves using protection like condoms during every sexual encounter.

2. Get Tested: Regular STI testing is crucial, especially if you have new or multiple sexual partners. If you or your partner are diagnosed with an STI, both should be treated.

3. Regular Screenings: Regular pelvic exams and screenings for STIs can help in the early detection of conditions that might lead to PID. Women under the age of 25 or those who have multiple sexual partners should be especially vigilant.

4. Limit Sexual Partners: The risk of PID significantly increases with the increase in the number of sexual partners. Hence, limiting the number of sexual partners can reduce the risk.

5. Don’t Douche: The practice of douching, or cleaning the vagina with water or other fluids, can disrupt the normal balance of bacteria in the vagina and can spread an infection.

6. Know Your Partner: Before becoming sexually active with a new partner, discuss both of your sexual histories. Ensure your partner has been tested for STIs and consider getting tested together.

7. Follow Hygiene Practices: It is essential to maintain healthy hygiene practices, such as changing tampons and sanitary pads regularly during periods and washing hands before and after changing them.

Remember, timely consultation with healthcare professionals is also essential in preventing PID. If you notice any symptoms or irregularities, it’s best to consult a doctor immediately.

FAQ’s about Pelvic inflammatory disease

FAQs about Pelvic Inflammatory Disease

1. What is pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)?
PID is an infection of the female reproductive organs. It’s commonly caused by sexually transmitted infections (STIs) like chlamydia and gonorrhea.

2. What are the symptoms of PID?
Symptoms might include pain in your lower abdomen or lower back, vaginal discharge with an odor, painful intercourse, painful urination, irregular menstrual bleeding, or fever and chills.

3. How is PID diagnosed?
Doctors usually diagnose PID based on symptoms, a physical exam, including a pelvic exam, analysis of vaginal discharge and urine, or sometimes, ultrasound or other imaging tests.

4. How is PID treated?
PID is usually treated with antibiotics to destroy the infection. Your sexual partner should also be treated to prevent re-infection.

5. Can PID cause infertility?
Yes, untreated PID can cause damage to the fallopian tubes, ovaries and uterus, leading to complications like chronic pelvic pain, ectopic pregnancy (where the pregnancy occurs outside the uterus) or infertility.

6. Can PID be prevented?
Yes, the best way to prevent PID is to protect against sexually transmitted infections through safe sex practices, getting regular STI tests if you’re sexually active, and getting vaccinated against human papillomavirus (HPV).

7. How quickly should PID be treated?
If PID is suspected, treatment should be initiated immediately, because prompt treatment can prevent severe damage to the reproductive organs.

8. Can PID recur?
Yes, you can get PID more than once. In fact, having had it previously increases your chances of getting it again.

9. Is PID contagious?
PID itself is not contagious, but the STIs that often cause PID can be spread through sexual contact.

10. Can PID be treated at home?
No, PID treatment should always be supervised by a healthcare professional. Over-the-counter pain medication can be used to relieve pain, but specific antibiotics are needed to treat the infection.

Please consult a healthcare provider for further information if you think you may have pelvic inflammatory disease.

Useful links

Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is an infection of the woman’s reproductive organs. It usually occurs when sexually transmitted bacteria spread from the vagina to the uterus, fallopian tubes or ovaries. Common symptoms include pelvic pain and fever. There can be damage to fallopian tubes, ovaries and uterus if not treated.

Below are links to various scientific articles and research studies from journals that might be helpful to understand this condition better:


Please remember to access these resources, you may need to subscribe or pay a fee in some cases. Additionally, the information should be used for academic purposes or to complement a healthcare advice, do not self-diagnose or start a treatment without consulting with a healthcare provider.

Complications of Pelvic inflammatory disease

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) is an infection of female reproductive organs, such as the uterus, fallopian tubes, ovaries, and cervix. It’s usually caused by sexually transmitted bacteria from diseases like chlamydia or gonorrhea. If left untreated, PID can have a number of complications and serious consequences. Here are some of them:

1. Increased risk of ectopic pregnancy: An ectopic pregnancy occurs when a fertilized egg implants and grows outside the main cavity of the uterus, typically in the fallopian tubes. This can be life-threatening. Past PID infection increases the risk due to scarring and blockages caused in the fallopian tubes.

Pelvic inflammatory disease

2. Infertility: PID can cause damage and scarring to the reproductive organs which may prevent the successful passage of eggs into the uterus, resulting in infertility.

3. Chronic pelvic pain: PID can lead to long-term pelvic pain caused by inflammation and scarring across the pelvic organs. This can last for months, or even years, and can affect day-to-day life as well as sexual activity.

4. Tubo-ovarian abscess (TOA): PID can lead to collections of pus known as abscesses in the ovaries and fallopian tubes. These can be very serious if they rupture and can require surgery.

5. Recurrent infections: Once you’ve had one episode of PID, you’re more likely to have more, especially if you do not eliminate the initial infection completely.

6. Fitz-Hugh-Curtis syndrome: This rare complication leads to an infection spreading to the liver, causing a collection of symptoms including upper right-sided abdominal pain.

7. Risks associated with untreated PID: Untreated PID can lead to serious, life-threatening conditions including sepsis (a life-threatening response to infection) or long-term health problems.

8. Psychosexual problems: Chronic pelvic pain and fertility problems can contribute to emotional distress, depression and relationship conflicts.

Remember to see a healthcare provider if you have symptoms suggestive of PID. The earlier it’s detected and treated, the better the outcomes.

Home remedies of Pelvic inflammatory disease

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) is a serious bacterial infection of a woman’s reproductive organs commonly caused by sexually transmitted diseases like chlamydia and gonorrhea. It is very important to note that this condition is usually severe and if it is suspected, it absolutely should be diagnosed and treated by a healthcare professional promptly to prevent complications.

While professional medical treatment is mandatory, including antibiotics and sometimes surgery, there are some home remedies that can be used to assist with easing symptoms and support the process of recovery:

1. Rest: Having adequate rest boosts the healing process and reduces the stress level which could intensify the infection.

2. Heat Therapy: Applying a warm pad or towel to your lower abdomen can help to relieve pain.

3. Hydration: Drinking plenty of fluids (like water, herbal teas, etc) can help your body in the healing process.

4. Healthy Diet: Eating food rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals can speed up the recovery process. This includes fruits, green leafy vegetables, fish, nuts, etc.

5. Pain Relief: Over the counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) such as ibuprofen can help to manage pain and swelling. Always use as directed.

6. Safe Sex: Use of barrier methods like condoms during sexual intercourse can prevent you from getting further infections.

7. Regular Exercise: Regular exercise increases the body’s immunity and may help to relieve some stress, but you should not engage in strenuous exercise if you are in pain.

Remember, these should not be used as a replacement for expert medical care which will include antibiotics or sometimes even surgical treatment. These remedies only assist to ease symptoms and are not a cure in and of themselves. If you suspect you have PID, immediately consult a doctor. Persistent PID can lead to complications like long-term abdominal pain, ectopic pregnancy, infertility, and formation of scar tissue.

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Women's Health,

Last Update: January 9, 2024