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Pelvic Inflammatory Disease

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Jan 5, 2023.

What is pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)?

PID is an infection of your reproductive organs. This includes your ovaries, fallopian tubes, uterus, cervix (lower area of your uterus), and vagina. The infection is caused by bacteria that are sexually transmitted, including gonorrhea and chlamydia. These bacteria spread from your vagina upward through your cervix. The infection may then spread to your uterus, fallopian tubes, or ovaries.

Female Reproductive System

What are the signs and symptoms of PID?

PID may cause mild signs and symptoms or none at all. You may have any of the following:

  • Fever or chills
  • Pain in your lower abdomen or pelvis
  • Heavy discharge from your vagina that may have an unusual or bad smell
  • Abnormal vaginal bleeding during or after sex, or bleeding in between your monthly periods
  • Pain during sex, especially if your PID is new
  • Painful or difficult urination

How is PID treated?

  • Antibiotics are given to fight the bacterial infection that caused your PID.
  • Surgery may be needed to treat problems related to PID. If you have an abscess on your tubes or ovaries, you may need surgery to drain it. Ask your healthcare provider for more information about surgeries or other procedures you may need.

Treatment options

The following list of medications are in some way related to or used in the treatment of this condition.

View more treatment options

What can I do to manage PID?

  • Finish your treatment. If you do not finish your treatment for PID, your infection may not go away. You may also have an increased risk for another STI in the future.
  • Do not have sex until your healthcare provider says it is okay. You will need to finish treatment before it is safe to have sex.
  • Talk to your sex partners. If you have an STI, tell your recent partners. Tell them to see a healthcare provider for testing and treatment. This will help stop the spread of infection to others or back to you.

How can I decrease my risk for PID?

  • Do not have unprotected sex. Always use a latex condom. Do not have sex while you or your partners are being treated for an STI.
  • Get tested for STIs before and after new sex partners. Talk to your partner and ask them to get tested.
  • Do not delay treatment for STIs or vaginal infections. Talk to your healthcare provider if you think you have an STI. Early treatment can prevent health problems that may lead to PID.

When should I call my doctor?

  • You have severe pain in your lower abdomen.
  • You have nausea or are vomiting.
  • You have chills or a high fever.
  • Your symptoms get worse or do not improve after 3 days of treatment.
  • Your skin is red, itchy, or you have a new rash.
  • You think or know you are pregnant.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Learn more about Pelvic Inflammatory Disease

Treatment options

Care guides

Symptoms and treatments

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.