Pelvic inflammatory disease: Symptoms, Causes & Treatment

Pelvic inflammatory disease: Symptoms, Causes & Treatment

Pelvic Inflammatory disease or PID is a condition where the female reproductive organs including the ovaries, uterus, fallopian tubes, and cervix located in the pelvic region get infected. Not everyone is aware that 85% of the PID cases are due to bacteria called Neisseria gonorrhoeae or Chlamydia trachomatis that get transmitted sexually.

It Predominantly affects women in their adolescence (age group 15-29) than their higher age brackets. The manifestations of acute PID onsets with pelvic pain or dyspareunia, abnormal vaginal discharge, and recurrent urinary infections. PID can lead to complications such as infertility, ectopic pregnancy and also affect the adjacent abdominal organs. However, this condition is preventable with early detection and a prompt treatment.

Since PID is sexually transmitted, it is equally important to treat the spouse along with the patient to prevent the recurrence of such infections. Dr. Preeti Singh, an infertility expert in Noida can help effectively to treat the infection and prevent PID complications through an accurate examination process.

Table of Contents

Feel free to skip ahead if one topic catches your eye:

  1. What is Pelvic inflammatory disease?
  2. Common Causes of Pelvic inflammatory disease
  3. Signs of Pelvic inflammatory disease
  4. PID Complications
  5. What is the treatment for the pelvic inflammatory disease?


1. What is Pelvic inflammatory disease?

As the name suggests, pelvic inflammatory disease is the infection of the pelvic reproductive organ including the cervix, uterus, fallopian tubules, and ovaries. PID arises due to the bacterial infection transmitted through the vaginal opening. Since the pelvic reproductive organs of a female are associated with the pregnancy and childbirth process, infections in these organs can affect the natural birth-giving ability of a woman.

Generally, the female reproductive tract is designed to protect the internal reproductive organs from pathogenic interventions that attack through the vagina. The cervix forms a protective barrier and prevents pathogen intrusions. However, the cervix opens itself during childbirth and menstruation. It is during this period that the infecting pathogens or bacteria lingering outside the well-protective cervix can enter the female reproductive tract and cause PID.

2. Common Causes of Pelvic inflammatory disease

The most common bacterias causing PID are Neisseria gonorrhoeae and Chlamydia trachomatis. It is observed that chlamydial infections are more common than gonococcal infections accounting for almost 60% of the PID cases. The other bacterial PID-causing pathogens include Escherichia coli, Bacteroides fragilis, Streptococcus aureus, Streptococcus faecalis, Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Statistically, the highest percentage of PID infections are due to the sexual transmission of bacteria. The other relative possibilities of PID infections include;

  1. A previous abortion or a miscarriage
  2. Having sex in unhygenic conditions
  3. Having sex with multiple partners
  4. Unprotected vaginal, oral or anal sex
  5. Having a pelvic examination
  6. Insertion of a intrauterine device (IUD)
  7. Through surgical procedures of the uterus such as a D & C or endometrial biopsy
  8. Regular use of douches and/or tampons
  9. Having a previous history of PID
  10. Inserting foreign objects into the vagina

3. Signs of Pelvic inflammatory disease

Most of the PID symptoms can go unrecognized until it gets severe. Chlamydial infections are difficult to diagnose in the early stages. However, it is advised to consult a specialist when you observe one or more of the below-mentioned symptoms.

  1. Lower abdominal pain
  2. Fever of above 101° F with occasional chills
  3. Unbearable pain during intercourse
  4. Pain in the upper abdominal region
  5. Acute pelvic pain
  6. Pain while walking
  7. Irregular bleeding
  8. Abnormal vaginal discharge with an unpleasant odor
  9. Nausea and vomiting
  10. Feeling dizzy
  11. Difficulty or pain during urination
  12. Dehydration symptoms

4. PID Complications

The undetected or untreated PID can get severe over time. The infections can spread to different other abdominal organs through the bloodstream. These pelvic infections can also leave scar tissues and fluid-filled pockets or abscesses in the reproductive tract causing irreversible damage to the reproductive organs. Some of the other complications of pelvic inflammatory diseases are:

  1. Infertility: Scar tissue formations and permanent damage of the reproductive organs may lead to infertility. Having a history of PID poses a greater risk of infertility. Timely treatment can drastically improve the chances of getting pregnant.
  2. Ectopic pregnancy: Ectopic pregnancy is when the embryo implants itself outside the uterus. It occurs when the untreated PID develops scar tissue inside the fallopian tubes. This restricts the movement of the embryo into the uterus and the embryo implants itself in the fallopian tube itself. This leads to a critical medical emergency of tubal pregnancy or ectopic pregnancy.
  3. Chronic pelvic pain: Severe pain is associated with PID where the chronic pain similar to that of appendicitis worsens with time. Scar tissue formations as a result of PID can cause pain even during ovulation and intercourse.
  4. Tubo-ovarian abscesses: Abscesses are an accumulation of pus. These pus formations developed may affect the functioning of the reproductive tract causing its permanent impairment. If left untreated they can be potentially fatal.

For questions such as how pelvic inflammatory disease is diagnosed? Early diagnosis is essential to evade the possible complications of PID. PID investigative tests are done after a detailed study of the medical history, a pelvic examination, blood, and urine analysis. Imaging tests for pain-associated symptoms of PID include ultrasound, laparoscopy, and tissue analysis through an endometrial biopsy.

How to reduce the risks of pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)

5. What is the treatment for the pelvic inflammatory disease?

Diagnosing and treating pelvic infections at the earliest can reduce the pain symptoms, fertility problems, and other associated complications of PID. Treatment for pelvic infections include:

  • Antibiotics: Medications in the form of antibiotics to clear and control the infection are one of the common pelvic infection treatments advised. These medications help relieve symptoms and make you feel better within a few days. In cases where the patient doesn't respond to oral medications or has severe abscesses, you may need hospitalization with intravenous antibiotic injections.
  • Treatment for your partner: In sexually transmitted diseases like PID, it is equally important to prevent their recurrence. And so, treatment of Pelvic inflammatory disease includes a proper examination and treatment of the partner along with the affected patient.
  • Temporary abstinence: It is better to avoid having intercourse until the treatment is complete or the symptoms have subsided.

For PID infections causing scar tissue formations or abscesses, surgery may be done to remove the scar tissue, rupture the abscesses, and drain the fluids. In extremely rare scenarios, a severe or irreversible PID may require a hysterectomy (removal of the uterus, along with infected reproductive organs) as a part of pelvic infection treatment.


Pelvic inflammatory disease is a sexually transmitted infection caused due to bacteria infecting the female reproductive tract. Do not ignore symptoms such as acute abdominal pain, abnormal vaginal discharge that is indicative of possible PID. Timely diagnosis can not only help prompt treatment but prevent PID complications. Dr. Preeti Singh is a renowned Obstetrician-Gynaecologist in Noida. She has successfully treated patients with complex fertility-related issues with great care and expertise. Connect with Dr. Preeti Singh for a systematic evaluation of your fertility concern with a comprehensive treatment procedure.