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HealthInfo Canterbury

Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)

Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), is an infection of your womb, fallopian tubes, or ovaries. It happens when bacteria spread from your vagina or cervix. It's usually caused by a sexually transmitted infection (STI), such as chlamydia or gonorrhoea. It can also happen after surgery, pregnancy, or having an IUD or IUS fitted.

PID can cause pelvic or lower tummy pain, pain during sex, vaginal discharge, and sometimes fever or abnormal bleeding. If you have any of these symptoms, see a doctor and ask to be tested.

PID is treated with antibiotics. If it isn't treated early, it can lead to infertility or an ectopic pregnancy (a baby growing outside the womb) as well as long-term pelvic pain.

Your sexual partner may need to be treated at the same time.

Using a condom every time you have sex is the best way to protect yourself from getting an infection that can lead to PID.

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Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Last reviewed February 2019.

Page reference: 53208

Review key: HIPID-53208