Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is an infection and inflammation of the uterus, ovaries, and other female reproductive organs. It causes scarring in these organs. This can lead to infertility, ectopic pregnancy, pelvic pain, abscesses, and other serious problems. PID is the most common preventable cause of infertility in the United States.
Gonorrhea and chlamydia, two sexually transmitted diseases, are the most common causes of PID. Other bacteria can also cause it. You are at greater risk if you
- Are sexually active and younger than 25
- Have more than one sex partner
Some women have no symptoms. Others have pain in the lower abdomen, fever, smelly vaginal discharge, irregular bleeding, and pain during intercourse or urination. Doctors diagnose PID with a physical exam, lab tests, and imaging tests. Antibiotics can cure PID. Early treatment is important. Waiting too long increases the risk of infertility.