Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)

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PID in medical terms is “Pelvic Inflammatory Disease” and is also known as “Pelvic Organ Inflammation” or “Pelvic Inflammatory Infection” or “PID infection” and it is sexually transmitted bacteria that results in the infection of the female reproductive organs.  It mostly occurs in women when the sexually transmitted bacteria spread from the vagina to the […] Read More

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Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)

PID in medical terms is “Pelvic Inflammatory Disease” and is also known as “Pelvic Organ Inflammation” or “Pelvic Inflammatory Infection” or “PID infection” and it is sexually transmitted bacteria that results in the infection of the female reproductive organs.  It mostly occurs in women when the sexually transmitted bacteria spread from the vagina to the uterus, all the way to the pelvic region located in the lower abdomen. The parts in the lower abdomen include the ovaries, fallopian tubes, cervix. Several sexually transmitted bacteria cause PID, also, bacteria that are causative agents for sexually transmitted infections (STI) such as gonorrhea and chlamydia can pelvic organ inflammation. Pelvic inflammatory disease is said to detrimental and life-threatening in some cases. The bacteria enters the vagina and leads to an infection. Without early detection and treatment, the infection tends to migrate into the pelvic organs. The signs and symptoms of PID encountered with the pelvic infection are said to be subtle or mild. In some cases, some women may not necessarily experience any signs or symptoms. As a result, women might not diagnose until trouble acquainted with the inability to conceive is experienced or chronic pain around the pelvic pain is felt. PID can be attributed to people having unprotected sex, though, 15% of these infections are not sexually transmitted. Sex may permit the entrance of bacteria into the reproductive system, where they can infest the organs. PID COMPLICATIONS When a pelvic inflammatory disease is left untreated, it might cause scar tissue and a large volume of infected fluid (abscesses) to develop in the reproductive tract. These can result in permanent damage to the reproductive organs. Several complications from this damage may include:
  • Ectopic Pregnancy
Pelvic inflammation infection is a major cause of ectopic pregnancy, also known as tubal pregnancy. A tubal pregnancy can be experienced when the untreated pelvic inflammatory disease has caused scar tissues to develop in the pelvic region, basically the fallopian tubes.  This scar tissue alters the fertilized egg from paving the way through the fallopian tube to implant in the uterus. Rather, the egg implants in the fallopian tube.  Ectopic pregnancies can result in life-threatening, massive bleeding and this requires emergency medical attention.
  • Infertility
Damages to the reproductive organs can lead to infertility. Infertility is the inability to become pregnant. The more frequent the PID, the greater the risk of infertility.  Procrastination of treatment plans for PID also shockingly increases the risk of infertility.
  • Chronic Pelvic Pain
Pelvic inflammatory disease can lead to pelvic pain that might last for a long period over months or years. Also, the presence of scar tissues in fallopian tubes and other organs around the pelvic region can cause pain during intercourse and ovulation.
  • Tubo-ovarian Abscess
PID might lead to a condition known as an abscess which is known as a collection of pus that forms mainly in the reproductive tract.  In most cases, abscesses tend to affect the fallopian tube and ovaries, though they can be formed in the uterus or other organs in the pelvic region. When an abscess is left untreated for some time, there could be a development that could end up in a life-threatening infection. PID DIAGNOSIS When diagnosing for pelvic inflammation disease, your doctor will check your medical history, ask for signs and symptoms you are experiencing and perform a pelvic examination. For further examination of PID, the following test can be recommended:
  • Blood and urine tests.
  • Ultrasound. 
  • Laparoscopy. 
  • Endometrial biopsy.
PID TREATMENT The pelvic infection treatments that can be proffered are listed as follows:
  • Antibiotics.
  • Temporary abstinence from sex while undergoing treatment.
  • Treatment for the partner.
PID PREVENTION To reduce your risk of pelvic inflammatory disease, the following preventive measures should be adhered to:
  • Practice safe sex. 
Condoms are to be used every time for sexual intercourse. Then, the number of persons should be limited and the partner’s sexual history should be communicated.
  • Talk to your doctor about contraception:
Many forms of contraception are not effective enough to protect against the development of PID.  Therefore, using barrier methods, such as a condom can aid to reduce your risk. Even with birth control pills, it is advisable to use a condom every time especially for cases of new partners to protect against STIs.
  • Get tested:
When there is any possible chance of having an STI, it is advisable to make an appointment with a medical professional for testing.  Setting up a frequent screening schedule with your doctor is needed. Early treatment of the STI gives you the best chance of avoiding PID.
  • Request for a partner to be tested:
For pelvic inflammatory disease or an STI, the partner should be tested and treated. This can curb the spread of STIs and the possible recurrence of PID.
  • Do not douche
Douching agitates the balance of bacteria in the vagina.



Pelvic infection symptoms may not be easily detectable and hard to recognize. Some women tend to be asymptomatic, possessing no visible symptoms. However, PID symptoms in women are more severe than PID symptoms in men.

Signs and symptoms of PID may include:

  • Mild to severe pain around the lower abdomen and pelvic region may be experienced.
  • The irregular or heavy vaginal discharge tends to have an unpleasant odor.
  • Irregular bleeding through the uterine, especially during or after any sexual intercourse, or between menstrual cycles.
  • Severe pain experienced during sexual intercourse.
  • Chills accompanied with fever.
  • Frequent painful excretion while urinating.
  • Inflammation of the fallopian tube

Medical care will be required urgently in cases where:

  • Severe pain is experienced in the lower part of the abdomen.
  • Inability to digest in turn leading to nausea and vomiting.
  • High fever, with a temperature higher than 101 F (38.3 C).
  • Vaginal discharge with rebarbative odor.



The most common cause of pelvic inflammatory disease is the bacteria present leading to gonorrhea or chlamydia infections.

Pelvic infection is mostly caused by bacteria acquired during unprotected sexual intercourse. Also, bacteria are still liable to invade the reproductive tract at any point in time mostly when the normal barrier created by the cervix is perturbed.

The reproductive tract is susceptible to this during menstruation, childbirth, abortion, or miscarriage. Also, bacteria entry can be minimal in cases of insertion of an intrauterine device, used as a long-term birth control method. 

Medical procedures involving the insertion of external instruments into the uterus can also lead to PID.


Several factors may lead to an increment of the chances of contracting the pelvic inflammatory disease and these includes:

  • The heightened sexual urge for ladies younger than 25 years.
  • Having several sexual partners.
  • Having a sexual relationship where the partner has more than one sex partner.
  • Unprotected sexual intercourse.
  • Douching frequently, which agitates the balance of good versus harmful bacteria in the vaginal region and might conceal symptoms.
  • History of pelvic inflammatory infection or a sexually transmitted infection.
  • Insertion of an intrauterine device (IUD) increases the chances of contracting the PID. This risk is generally designated to the first three weeks after insertion.


Can you have a pelvic infection without having an STD?

It rarely occurs but it can be possible to get the pelvic inflammatory disease without having STD.

What happens if PID is left untreated?

When the PID is left untreated it can affect the fallopian tubes, uterus, and ovaries. It could lead to infertility and chronic infection in women.

How long does it take for the pelvic inflammatory disease to clear up?

For some cases, the PID clears up after 10-14 days of antibiotic treatment while for severe cases, the patient will need to be treated in the hospital.

Can I pass PID to my boyfriend?

The bacteria that leads to PID can be contracted through sexual intercourse, so once sexually active, your partner needs to get treated too.

Can PID go away on its own?

In some cases, the pelvic inflammatory disease can be resolved spontaneously or it goes away without any form of treatment.