How to Recognize Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)

Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) refers to an infection that occurs in various reproductive organs. It is a serious drawback of some sexually transmitted diseases, especially chlamydia and gonorrhea. PID can lead to serious consequences, including infertility and chronic pelvic pain. Early detection and prompt medical care can prevent the most serious complications of PID.


  1. Image titled Recognize Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) Step 1
    Know if you are at risk. Many cases of PID are connected with gonorrhea and chlamydia. There are other factors that may put you at risk as well. These are:
    • Women who douche may have a higher risk of developing PID.
    • Women who have an intrauterine device (IUD) inserted.
    • Women in their childbearing years who are sexually active are most at risk.
    • Women under age 25 are more likely to develop PID than women over age 25.
    • Multiple sex partners increase the risks.
    • Having a sex partner who has multiple sex partners increases your risk.
  2. Image titled Recognize Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) Step 2
    Know the symptoms of PID. Be on watch for the following:
    • Lower abdominal pain.
    • Fever.
    • Pain during intercourse.
    • Irregular bleeding during menstruation.
    • Abnormal vaginal discharge with an unpleasant odor.
    • Painful urination.
    • Nausea.
    • Vomiting.
    • Pain in the upper right abdomen (rare).
  3. Image titled Recognize Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) Step 3
    Be aware that when PID originates by a chlamydia infection, you may have very mild symptoms or no symptoms at all. Roughly two thirds of the cases of PID go undetected by a doctor.
  4. Image titled Recognize Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) Step 4
    Know that there are no adequate tests for PID, so it is very important that if you experience persistent lower abdominal pain to tell your doctor.


  • PID can be cured with antibiotics. Your doctor will know which one is right for you.
  • Having a pelvic ultrasound is a crucial method for diagnosing PID. An ultrasound can detect enlarged fallopian tubes or determine if an abscess is present.
  • If you have any of the following, stop having sex and see your doctor immediately:

    • Unusual sore in your genital area.
    • A vaginal discharge with a putrid smell.
    • Burning sensation during urination.
    • Bleeding or spotting outside a normal menstrual cycle.
  • Protect yourself from PID. Take the following precautions:

    • Get an early diagnosis and treatment for gonorrhea and chlamydia.
    • Abstain from sexual activity.
    • Maintain a mutually monogamous relationship with a partner who known to be uninfected with an STD.
    • Use a condom to reduce the risks of getting an STD.
    • Get tested yearly for chlamydia, especially if you are under age 25, sexually active, or have multiple sex partners.


  • Without treatment, PID can cause permanent damage to female reproductive organs.
  • A woman who has multiple episodes of PID, increases her risks for infertility. One in ten women with PID becomes infertile.

Article Info

Categories: Reproductive Health