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Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is a serious infection of the female reproductive organs. This includes the uterus, ovaries, and fallopian tubes. PID can cause scar tissue to form in the pelvis and fallopian tubes. This damage may result in
infertility, a future
tubal pregnancy, or chronic pelvic pain.
Because symptoms are often subtle or nonexistent, PID can be difficult to diagnose. There are no specific tests for PID.
If PID is suspected, the doctor will ask about your symptoms, as well as your sexual history, partners, and birth control methods. A physical and pelvic exam will be done. The pelvic exam is key to making the diagnosis. Samples from the vagina or cervix may be taken to help diagnose the problem.
Tests may include:
Cultures of the cervix to test for STD organisms
Blood tests to check pregnancy status, and signs of infection
—insertion of a thin, lighted telescopic tube through a small incision in the abdomen to look at the reproductive organs
The primary treatment for PID is antibiotics. Your doctor may prescribe more than one type of antibiotic to treat the problem. Finish the entire dose of each medication, even if your symptoms disappear during treatment.
You may be hospitalized if the diagnosis is uncertain, you do not improve, or your symptoms are severe. In the hospital, antibiotics can be given by IV. In certain situations, surgery may be required to remove infected or damaged tissue.
If you are diagnosed with PID, follow your doctor's
Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) - CDC fact sheet. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: ...(Click grey area to select URL) Updated September 28, 2013. Accessed July 25, 2013.
Pelvic inflammatory disease. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: ...(Click grey area to select URL) Updated January 20, 2013. Accessed July 25, 2013.
Pelvic inflammatory disease. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, NIH website. Available at: ...(Click grey area to select URL) Updated November 29, 2011. Accessed July 25, 2013.
Workowski KA, Berman S, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Sexually Transmitted Diseases Treatment Guidelines, 2010.
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