Pelvic Inflammatory Disease: Symptoms, Complications and Prevention

Divya Tripathi

, Health A2Z

Pelvic inflammatory disease is also called as PID. It is an inflammation and infection of the ovaries, uterus, and other female reproductive organs. If it is not treated well it can lead to serious health problems like ectopic pregnancy, infertility, pelvic pain, abscesses, and others. PID is one of the most common preventable cause of infertility.


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Symptoms of the pelvic inflammatory disease


There are a variety of signs and symptoms that are visible in women who are dealing with PID from subtle and mild to severe. PID can be unrecognized by women when the symptoms are mild.


When symptoms are present, the most common symptoms of PID are


  • Lower abdominal pain
  • Mild pelvic pain
  • Increased vaginal discharge
  • Irregular periods
  • Fever
  • Pain with intercourse
  • Painful and frequent urination
  • Abdominal tenderness
  • Pelvic organ tenderness
  • Uterine tenderness
  • Adnexal tenderness
  • Cervical motion tenderness
  • Inflammation


What are the risk factors of PID?


The most common cause of PID is sexually transmitted diseases like gonorrhea and chlamydia. Some other bacterial problems can also cause it. You are at greater risk if you


  • Being sexually active before the age of 25 years old
  • Having sex with multiple partners
  • Being in a sexual relationship with a person who has multiple sex partner
  • Having sex without a condom
  • Douching regularly
  • Having a history of a sexually transmitted infection.


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What are the complications of pelvic inflammatory disease?


The untreated PID can cause scar tissue. You might also be collected some infected fluid in your fallopian tubes, which could damage your reproductive organs.


Other complications might include:


Ectopic pregnancy


One of the major complications of PID is ectopic pregnancy that is also known as (tubal pregnancy).




PID might damage your reproductive organs that can cause infertility. The more frequent you’ve had PID, the risk of infertility increased. Delaying treatment for PID also increases your risk of infertility.


Chronic pelvic pain


PID can lead to pelvic pain that might last for a long period of time. Scarring in your fallopian tubes as well as the other pelvic organs can cause pain during ovulation and intercourse.


Tubo-ovarian abscess


PID might cause an abscess, it is a collection of pus that forms in your uterine tube and ovaries. If this condition left untreated, you can lead to a life-threatening infection.


What are the preventions for PID?


Here are the ways that you can keep in mind to prevent yourself from pelvic inflammatory disease:


  • Practice safe sex. Try to use condoms whenever you have sex, limit your number of partners.


  • Discuss with your doctor about contraception. Many forms of contraception do not protect you from the development of PID. There are some barrier methods you can use to protect like condom might help to reduce your risk. Even if you take birth control pills, it’s still important to use a condom to protect STIs.


  • Get tested. If you’re at risk of an STI, such as chlamydia, make an appointment with your doctor for testing. Set up a regular screening schedule with your doctor if needed. Early treatment of an STI gives you the best chance of avoiding PID.


  • Request that your partner be tested. If you have a pelvic inflammatory disease or an STI, advise your partner to be tested and, if necessary, treated. This can prevent the spread of STIs and possible recurrence of PID.
    Don’t douche. Douching upsets the balance of bacteria in your vagina.


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