Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
by Cynthia M. Johnson, MA
Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is an infection of the female pelvic organs. This includes the ovaries, uterus, vagina, and bladder.
PID is most common in women 15 to 29 years of age and sexually active. Other things that may increase the risk of PID include:
Some women do not have symptoms. Those that do may have:
The doctor will ask about symptoms and past health. A physical exam will be done. The doctor may suspect PID based on symptoms and exam. An internal exam of the pelvis may be done. A sample of fluid from the vagina may be taken. It will be sent to a lab for testing. Other tests may include:
Antibiotics can treat the infection. Sex partners should also get treated or the infection will continue. Hospital care may be needed if the infection does not clear with basic care.
PID can cause damage to pelvic organs if it is not treated. This can lead to problems with fertility, pregnancy, and cause long term pain.
Steps that may help to prevent PID include:
American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada
Women's Health Matters
2015 STD treatment guidelines. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/std/tg2015/. Updated January 25, 2017. Accessed October 4, 2019.
Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)—CDC fact sheet. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at:
...(Click grey area to select URL)
Updated July 10, 2017. Accessed October 4, 2019.
Pelvic inflammatory disease. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed... . Updated September 9, 2019. Accessed October 4, 2019.
Last reviewed October 2019 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Kathleen A. Barry, MD
Last Updated: 10/4/2019
EBSCO Information Services is fully accredited by URAC. URAC is an independent, nonprofit health care accrediting organization dedicated to promoting health care quality through accreditation, certification and commendation.
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
To send comments or feedback to our Editorial Team regarding the content please email us at email@example.com. Our Health Library Support team will respond to your email request within 2 business days.