Pelvic Inflammatory Disease

Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is a type of infection that affects female reproductive organs. The condition is contracted through sexual contact, dirty contraceptive devices or bacteria introduced during a gynecological procedure. The bacteria spread from your vagina to the womb and pelvis causing widespread infection.

Chronic Pelvic Pain

PID doesn't always cause symptoms, and even when it does, many women opt not to seek treatment. Women are liable to address their PID late in the game when they have trouble conceiving or they've already developed chronic pelvic pain.

PID is something to avoid, since it not only results in infertility, it also causes complications in pregnancy should a woman manage to conceive. The best way to prevent PID is to take precautions to prevent sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), and to treat them, should they occur in spite of precautions. Hygiene is also a factor in cases where PID results from contraceptive devices or during gynecological procedures.

Symptoms of PID can include:

Pelvic pain and pain in the lower abdomen

Unpleasant smelling and profuse vaginal discharge

Irregular periods

Painful intercourse

Pain in the lower back

Vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, or fever

Pain on urination

Difficult urination

Mild Symptoms?

Sometimes there are no symptoms in PID, or symptoms are very mild. This is common when the infection causing the condition is Chlamydia. Because you may not know you are infected, there is a likelihood that you may end up incurring permanent damage to your sexual organs and that your future sexual partners will contract Chlamydia from you during sexual encounters.

PID can sometimes become a medical emergency. If you experience any of the following symptoms, go to an emergency room for treatment:

Severe pain in the lower abdomen


Fainting or other signs of shock

Fever that is higher than 101 degrees Fahrenheit

PID, left untreated, may result in scar tissue and abscesses of the fallopian tubes, leading to infertility. Some known complications of PID include:

Ectopic or tubal pregnancy

Infertility affecting one in eight women with PID

Chronic pelvic pain during sex, ovulation, and exercise affects half of all women with PID

The main treatment for PID is a simple course of antibiotics. Safe sex methods, such as proper use of condoms, monogamous relationships, and frank discussion with your partner about the need to test for STDs can prevent most cases of PID from ever occurring. If you or your partner engages in high-risk sexual behavior, it's prudent, responsible, and even life-saving to have regular screenings for disease.