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Pelvic Inflammatory Disease

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease: Introduction

Pelvic inflammatory disease refers to a variety of infections of the female reproductive organs. Pelvic inflammatory disease can affect the uterus, fallopian tubes, ovaries and nearby tissues.

Pelvic inflammatory disease, also called PID, is most commonly caused by the sexually transmitted diseases, most often gonorrhea and chlamydia. Less commonly pelvic inflammatory disease can also be caused by an infection of a woman's reproductive organs due to childbirth, an intrauterine device (IUD), miscarriage, abortion, or a surgical procedure on the female reproductive system.

Sexually transmitted diseases that cause pelvic inflammatory disease are passed from one person another during sexual contact. Any girl or woman that engages in sexual activity can contract and pass on a sexually transmitted diseases that causes pelvic inflammatory disease. However, pelvic inflammatory disease is most common in young, sexually active women and occurs least often in women who have experienced menopause. The more sexual partners a person has, the greater the risk of catching a sexually transmitted disease that can cause pelvic inflammatory disease.

Sexually transmitted diseases diagnosed before the development of pelvic inflammatory disease can be quickly and easily treated. However, if left untreated pelvic inflammatory disease can develop and lead to formation of pus-filled abscesses on the fallopian tubes or ovaries. This can result in scarring of the fallopian tubes, infertility, ectopic pregnancy and other serious complications. Having a sexually transmitted disease that causes pelvic inflammatory disease infection also puts a person at greater risk for contracting HIV.

Symptoms of pelvic inflammatory disease infection include high fever and severe lower abdominal pain. Lower abdominal pain can also be mild in some cases. To learn more about additional important symptoms and complications, refer to symptoms of pelvic inflammatory disease.

Diagnosing pelvic inflammatory disease begins with taking a medical and sexual history and completing a physical and pelvic examination. During the pelvic examination, the health care practitioner will assess the reproductive organs and take a swab sample of the woman's cervix and have it tested for the presence of sexually transmitted diseases. A pelvic ultrasound is also performed, which can reveal the develoment of abscesses.

Because there are often no symptoms in the early stage of sexually transmitted disease, some infected women may be unaware of a problem, delaying a diagnosis and increasing the risk of developing pelvic inflammatory disease. Symptoms of pelvic inflammatory disease can be similar to symptoms of other diseases and conditions, such as appendicitis. To see more diseases and conditions that can mimic pelvic inflammatory disease, refer to misdiagnosis of pelvic inflammatory disease.

The first step in the treatment of pelvic inflammatory disease is prevention. Prevention of pelvic inflammatory disease is best accomplished by abstaining from sexual activity or having sex only within a mutually monogamous relationship in which neither partner is infected with a sexually transmitted disease. Latex condoms also provide some protection when used properly.

Treatment of pelvic inflammatory disease infection includes medication and may require hospitalization. For more information about treatment, refer to treatment of pelvic inflammatory disease. ...more »

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease: Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is a general term that refers to infection of the fallopian tubes (tubes that carry eggs from the ovary to the womb) and ... more about Pelvic Inflammatory Disease.

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease: Infection of the womb and fallopian tubes. More detailed information about the symptoms, causes, and treatments of Pelvic Inflammatory Disease is available below.

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease: Symptoms

Symptoms of pelvic inflammatory disease infection can vary among individuals. Symptoms can run the gamut from none to severe. Symptoms of pelvic inflammatory disease may include lower abdominal pain, vaginal discharge with a foul odor, pain with sexual intercourse, vomiting, and fever. Abdominal pain can be severe and the fever can be high.

Serious complications, such as ...more symptoms »

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease: Treatments

Treatment of pelvic inflammatory disease infection starts with prevention. Prevention measures include seeking regular medical care throughout the lifetime. Regular medical care allows a licensed health care professional to best evaluate the risks of contracting sexually transmitted diseases that causes pelvic inflammatory disease and regularly test for ...more treatments »

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease: Misdiagnosis

A prompt diagnosis and treatment of pelvic inflammatory disease infection increases the chances of preserving fertility and preventing other complications, such as ectopic pregnancy, and chronic pelvic pain.

A diagnosis of pelvic inflammatory disease can be missed or delayed because there may be no symptoms in the earliest, most curable stage. When symptoms do occur, they can ...more misdiagnosis »

Symptoms of Pelvic Inflammatory Disease

Treatments for Pelvic Inflammatory Disease

Home Diagnostic Testing

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Wrongly Diagnosed with Pelvic Inflammatory Disease?

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease: Related Patient Stories

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease: Deaths

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Types of Pelvic Inflammatory Disease

  • Acute PID - sudden onset acute form
  • Chronic PID - slower onset chronic form
  • Gonococcal PID - from gonorrhea
  • Chlamydial PID - from chlamydia
  • Atypical pelvic inflammatory disease - very mild symptoms; often from chlamydia.
  • more types...»

Diagnostic Tests for Pelvic Inflammatory Disease

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Pelvic Inflammatory Disease: Complications

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Causes of Pelvic Inflammatory Disease

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Disease Topics Related To Pelvic Inflammatory Disease

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Pelvic Inflammatory Disease: Undiagnosed Conditions

Commonly undiagnosed diseases in related medical categories:

Misdiagnosis and Pelvic Inflammatory Disease

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Misdiagnosed weight-related causes of infertility: A woman's weight status can affect her level of fertility. Although obesity or overweight can in themselves reduce fertility, there are other weight-related or associated...read more »

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease: Research Doctors & Specialists

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Hospitals & Clinics: Pelvic Inflammatory Disease

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Choosing the Best Hospital: More general information, not necessarily in relation to Pelvic Inflammatory Disease, on hospital performance and surgical care quality:

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease: Rare Types

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Latest Treatments for Pelvic Inflammatory Disease

Evidence Based Medicine Research for Pelvic Inflammatory Disease

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Pelvic Inflammatory Disease: Animations

Prognosis for Pelvic Inflammatory Disease

Research about Pelvic Inflammatory Disease

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Clinical Trials for Pelvic Inflammatory Disease

The US based website ClinicalTrials.gov lists information on both federally and privately supported clinical trials using human volunteers.

Some of the clinical trials listed on ClinicalTrials.gov for Pelvic Inflammatory Disease include:

Statistics for Pelvic Inflammatory Disease

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease: Broader Related Topics

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease Message Boards

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Article Excerpts about Pelvic Inflammatory Disease

PID: DSTD (Excerpt)

Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is a general term that refers to infection of the fallopian tubes (tubes that carry eggs from the ovary to the womb) and of other internal reproductive organs in women. It is a common and serious complication of some sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Inside the lower abdominal cavity, PID can damage the fallopian tubes and tissues in and near the uterus and ovaries. Untreated PID can lead to serious consequences including infertility, ectopic pregnancy, abscess formation, and chronic pelvic pain. (Source: excerpt from PID: DSTD)

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease, NIAID Fact Sheet: NIAID (Excerpt)

Aside from AIDS, the most common and serious complication of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) among women is pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), an infection of the upper genital tract. PID can affect the uterus, ovaries, fallopian tubes, or other related structures. Untreated, PID causes scarring and can lead to infertility, tubal pregnancy, chronic pelvic pain, and other serious consequences. (Source: excerpt from Pelvic Inflammatory Disease, NIAID Fact Sheet: NIAID)

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease: NWHIC (Excerpt)

The most serious and common complication of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) among women is pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), an infection of the upper genital tract. PID can affect the uterus, ovaries, fallopian tubes, or other related structures. Untreated, PID can lead to infertility, tubal (ectopic) pregnancy, chronic pelvic pain, and other serious consequences. (Source: excerpt from Pelvic Inflammatory Disease: NWHIC)

Definitions of Pelvic Inflammatory Disease:

Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is an acute or chronic inflammation in the pelvic cavity. It is most commonly caused by sexually transmitted diseases, including chlamydia and gonorrhea, that have ascended into the uterus, fallopian tubes, or ovaries as a result of intercourse or childbirth, or of surgical procedures, including insertion of IUDs or abortion. PID may be either symptomatic or asymptomatic. It may cause infertility and it may raise the risk of ectopic pregnancy. PID is a disease associated with HIV infection. - (Source - Diseases Database)

Inflammation of the female pelvic organs (especially the Fallopian tubes) caused by infection by any of several microorganisms (chiefly gonococci and chlamydia); symptoms are abdominal pain and fever and foul-smelling vaginal discharge - (Source - WordNet 2.1)

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