Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)

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WHAT IS PID?

PID refers to infection or inflammation of the organs in the pelvis, including the uterus and fallopian tubes. Inflammation of the tubes is also called salpingitis.

HOW DO YOU GET PID?

PID is usually (though not always) due to infection with bacteria such as chlamydia, gonorrhoea, and Mycoplasma genitalium. Sometimes PID develops after pelvic procedures such as terminations of pregnancy.

WHAT ARE THE SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS?

Many women don’t have any signs or symptoms. Those that do have symptoms may have:

  • Abnormal vaginal discharge 
  • Unusual bleeding 
  • Pelvic or lower abdominal pain
  • Pain with sex 
  • Increased period pain
HOW DO YOU KNOW IF YOU’VE GOT PID?

Often you don’t. But it’s important to be checked for STIs such as chlamydia if you change sexual partners or if you have any of the above symptoms.

HOW IS PID TREATED?

PID is treated with a combination of antibiotics over several weeks.

ARE THERE ANY COMPLICATIONS IF PID IS NOT TREATED?

Untreated PID may cause chronic pelvic pain, and can damage the uterine (fallopian) tubes causing difficulties getting pregnant or pregnancies in the tubes (ectopic pregnancy).

WILL I BE ABLE TO BECOME PREGNANT IF I HAVE PID?

Studies suggest that after one episode of PID you may have decreased your chances of a successful pregnancy by around 10%. After 2 or 3 episodes, this figure rises to 50%.

HOW CAN I AVOID GETTING PID?

By practising safe sex (always using condoms) with new partners and having regular sexual health check-ups is the best way to prevent infection.

SHOULD MY PARTNER ALSO GET TREATED?

We recommend that male partners of women with PID should be treated for chlamydia and tested for STIs including gonorrhoea and Mycoplasma genitalium.

DISCLAIMER:
This fact sheet is designed to provide you with information on Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). It is not intended to replace the need for a consultation with your doctor. All clients are strongly advised to check with their doctor about any specific questions or concerns they may have. Every effort has been taken to ensure that the information in this pamphlet is correct at the time of printing.
Last Updated November 2017