Pelvic Inflammatory Disease

Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is an infection that occurs in the reproductive organs. The uterus, cervix, fallopian tubes or ovaries may be affected. Often called the silent epidemic, PID is common but frequently does not cause symptoms.

PID is most commonly caused by the sexually transmitted diseases chlamydia and gonorrhoea. PID can also occur after a ruptured appendix or a bowel infection. Women aged 20 to 29 have the highest reported incidence of PID.

In many cases, pelvic inflammatory disease can occur with no signs, pains or symptoms.

When symptoms occur, they can include

  • Pain in the lower abdomen
  • Pain during sex
  • Abnormal periods
  • Bleeding after sex
  • Abnormal discharge
  • Fever
If left untreated, PID can lead to long-term problems such as infertility or problems with pregnancy. If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, you should seek medical attention.

Treatment and diagnosis

Diagnosis of PID may involve examining the vagina, cervix, uterus and ovaries. Your doctor may run urine and blood tests to test for chlamydia and gonorrhea.

Prevention is key to avoiding PID. Lower your risk by practicing safe sex and receiving frequent tests for sexually transmitted infections.
To treat PID, a series of antibiotics will be prescribed. To ensure a quick and full recovery it’s important to follow treatment as prescribed and avoid having sex until the infection has been cured.