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Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)

What is it?

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) describes any infection and inflammation of a woman’s reproductive organs. PID is usually the result of the spread of a bacterial STI from the vagina, most often chlamydia or gonorrhoea. The infection can travel up through the cervix into the uterus and up the fallopian tubes where it causes inflammation. This can result in scarring and blocking of the tubes. The ovaries and tissues surrounding all these organs may be affected. Other serious consequences can be infertility and ectopic pregnancy.

How do you get it?

  • Unprotected sexual activity.
  • Often caused by gonorrhoea and chlamydia.

Signs and symptoms

The symptoms of PID may be mild, moderate or severe. They may develop gradually or come on suddenly. Any of the following symptoms may occur with PID:

  • Lower abdominal pain or cramps.
  • Pain that goes from the pelvic area down to the top of the legs.
  • Pain during intercourse.
  • Unpleasant discharge, usually heavier than normal and smelly, but not necessarily itchy.
  • Bleeding after sex or between periods
  • Abdominal pain during bowel movements.
  • Rectal discomfort or a sense of fullness in the bowels.
  • Feeling swollen or bloated.
  • Fever, weakness, fatigue, chills, lethargy.

Treatment

Ensure that any treatment begins as soon as possible. PID is treated with at least a 14 day course of two different antibiotics.

Prevention

  • Regular three-monthly check-ups will help early detection.
  • Always use condoms and lube.