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Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)

What is it?

PID is a condition that affects women.

It means that your reproductive organs (your womb/uterus, fallopian tubes and ovaries) have become inflamed due to a bacterial infection.

How is it passed on?

PID can be caused by many different types of bacteria, including a gonorrhoea or chlamydia infection. Sometimes PID is caused by infections that are not sexually transmitted and the cause remains unknown.

What are the symptoms?

The symptoms of PID are fairly general, meaning that it can be difficult to diagnose. Signs to look out for include:

  • Discomfort or pain felt deep inside during sexual intercourse.
  • Pain around the lower abdomen (usually similar to period pain).
  • Bleeding in between periods and after sex.
  • Unusual vaginal discharge
  • Pain in the rectum (back passage).
  • Fever and vomiting.

You don’t have to have all of these symptoms to have PID. Sometimes symptoms are mild.

How do you test for it?

There is no test for PID. The Doctor or Nurse will diagnose PID based on your symptoms and their examination.

What happens if I don’t get treated?

If PID is left untreated, it can lead to more serious complications like problems with fertility or chronic pain.

What is the treatment?

PID is treated using a combination of at least two antibiotics because it often involves several different types of bacteria. The course will last for 14 days.

Your partner will need to be treated before you have sex again, even if your STI check is fine and they have no symptoms.

The Doctor or Nurse will want to see you in clinic to review your symptoms following treatment.

Find out how to avoid STIs.