Pelvic Inflammatory Disease

PID is a progressive infection that harms a woman's reproductive system. PID occurs throughout the pelvic area, in the fallopian tubes, the uterus, the lining of the uterus, and in the ovaries. Treated or untreated, PID can lead to sterility, ectopic pregnancy, and chronic pain. The more episodes of PID a woman has, the greater are her chances of becoming infertile. PID is not always the result of an STI - but in most cases it is. The sexually transmitted infections that most commonly cause PID are gonorrhea and chlamydia. More than 750,000 new cases of PID are diagnosed every year in the U.S. It is believed that millions of others go undiscovered.

Common Symptoms

  • Unusually long or painful periods, and unusual vaginal discharge
  • Spotting and pain between menstrual periods or during urination
  • Pain in the lower abdomen and back
  • Fever, chills, nausea, vomiting
  • Pain during intercourse.


Antibiotics, bed rest, and sexual abstinence. Surgery may be required to remove abscesses or scar tissue, or to repair or remove reproductive organs.


Pelvic exam and microscopic examination and/or culture of vaginal and cervical secretions.

laparoscopy - an optical instrument is inserted through a small cut in the navel to look at the reproductive organs.

Symptoms can be confused with those of appendicitis and other infections. Diagnosis can be difficult if patients are too embarrassed to admit sexual activity.


Condoms offer very good protection against infections commonly associated with PID.