Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)

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What Is It?

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID), also known as Salpingitis, is an infection of the uterus, uterine tubes and surrounding areas.

PID is caused by bacteria moving from the vagina and through the cervix into the reproductive organs.

Chlamydia is the most common cause of PID although other bacteria such as Gonorrhoea can have the same effect.



PID often has no visible symptoms. PID can cause:

  • Lower abdominal pain
  • Fever
  • Irregular periods
  • Pain during sex
  • Unusual (for you) vaginal discharge



Most cases of PID are the result of sexual transmission of Chlamydia or Gonorrhoea, although non-sexual transmission is possible.



It is recommended that you avoid any sexual activity if you have been diagnosed with PID until the infection has been treated and cleared.

In order to protect yourself and others from the general risk of infection, use barriers such as condoms, female condoms, gloves, and glyde dams.

Washing your hands between contact with your own and someone else’s genitals will reduce the risk.

Maintaining overall good hygiene, particularly during menstruation, including wiping away from the vagina when cleaning your anus can reduce the risk of developing PID from unknown causes.



It is very important that the condition is treated as quickly as possible. Left untreated it can become severe, spreading to the upper abdomen and liver, and eventually you may need to go to hospital.

Sexual partners of people with PID, are advised to have a sexual health check up to ensure that they have no infections.

Remember – Regular screening at your local STI clinic is recommended to maintain your sexual health.



Treatment will normally take the form of a course of antibiotics, which as always should be completed.

Rest is generally recommended during the period of the treatment, possibly including bed rest. It can sometimes take a few weeks to recover fully from PID.