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What is Pelvic Inflammatory Disease?

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) is a condition whereby infection spreads from the vaginal area up to the rest of the female reproductive organs.

Pelvic Inflammatory Diseases are usually caused by infections from sexually transmitted diseases such as chlamydia and gonorrhoea.

What you should know

Some women with pelvic inflammatory disease don’t have symptoms. For the women who do have symptoms, these can include:

    • pain in the lower abdomen (the most common symptom)
    • pain in the upper abdomen
    • fever
    • painful sex
    • painful urination
    • irregular bleeding
    • increased or foul-smelling vaginal discharge
    • tiredness

Complications

Pelvic inflammatory disease can cause mild or moderate pain. However, some women have severe pain and symptoms, such as:

    • Infertility, an inability to conceive a child
    • sharp pain in the abdomen
    • vomiting
    • fainting
    • a high fever

If you do not treat your PID, your symptoms can worsen and lead to problems, such as:

    • Infertility, an inability to conceive a child
    • Ectopic pregnancy, a pregnancy that occurs outside the womb
    • Chronic pelvic pain, pain in the lower abdomen caused by scarring of the fallopian tubes and other pelvic organs

Treatment

The infection can also spread to other parts of your body. If it spreads to your blood, it can become life-threatening.

Your doctor will likely have you take antibiotics to treat PID. Because your doctor may not know the type of bacteria that caused your infection, they might give you two different types of antibiotics to treat a variety of bacteria.

Within a few days of starting treatment, your symptoms may improve or go away. However, you should finish your medication, even if you’re feeling better. Stopping your medication early may cause the infection to return.