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Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)

Dr. Ankur
Nov. 12, 2010

PID is the most common and one of the serious complications arising as a result of sexually transmitted diseases (STD). This is infection of the upper genital tract including majorly the ovaries, fallopian tubes, uterus and its lining. Also in invasive cases they may usually spread to the abdomen as well.

PID occurs when a disease causing organism is passed from partner to another within the course of coition. These organisms then travel upwards to involve the above mentioned areas. From the uterus the spread usually turns to ovaries, fallopian tube and may spill into the abdomen.

Organisms responsible

Gonococcus leading to gonorrhoea

Chlamydia leading to non gonococcus urethritis and cervicitis

Trichomonas causing vaginitis in females and urethritis in males

Gardnerella causing vaginal discharge

Candida leading to vaginitis

Signs and Symptoms

Very often gonorrhoea and Chlamydia infection just go unnoticed with no symptoms on the surface where as PID caused by other agents result in vaginal discharge, lower abdominal pain, burning during urination with pain during intercourse.

The risk factors

There are certain aspects which raise the incidence quite higher for PID:-

·         Women with STD are at higher risk of developing PID

·         A prior episode of PID raises the risk of developing it again since the defence mechanisms get damage within the first episode itself

·         Sexually active teenagers are more likely to have the same

·         Multiple partner practices open gateways for PID both for men and women

·         Women who douche more than twice a month push more and more organisms to the upper genital tract and develop PID

·         Use of intra uterine contraceptive devices such as copper T etc raise the risk much higher

·         Use of non barrier methods like pills etc never aid any protection


PID is an eminent cause of infertility. The infection damages the normal tract leading to scar tissue development leading to partial or complete obstruction of the fallopian tubes. If the tubes are blocked then the entry of sperms to the ova is next to impossible and thus no fertilisation and no pregnancy. With every encounter of PID the risk increases with every episode.

Also a female with a history of PID are more likely to have an ectopic pregnancy in the tubes with the obvious partial obstruction.


Here the medicine part will entirely depend on the causative agent. Depending on the agent specific drug therapy has to be adopted. Further examinations are to be conducted to reveal any aftermaths and take appropriate measures to halt any recurrence what so ever. Moreover even if the partner complains of nothing then he / she must be thoroughly examined to leave no loopholes and safeguard. In extreme cases where infertility is a consequence then surgery has to be adopted to open ways and make pregnancy happen.

In future every coition should be adapted with a barrier contraceptive like male / female condom to restrict any transmit. PID can be troublesome leaving lifelong devastating effects just be a little cautious and care for you and yours partner health and make lives safe.

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