Pelvic Inflammatory Disease: Fast Facts About STDs

Fast Facts About STDs: Pelvic Inflammatory Disease

Name of Disease or Infection
Pelvic Inflammatory Disease, also known as PID, salpingitis.

Type of Disease or Infection
Bacterial infection.

How Common Is It?
Currently, acute PID affects more than one million women a year in the United States. More than 100,000 women become infertile each year, and over 150 die from PID or its complications.

How Do I Get It?
PID is caused by untreated gonorrhea, chlamydia or other infections spreading to the uterine lining or fallopian tubes, or other reproductive organs.

Some women experience no symptoms from this infection. Symptoms include unexplained bleeding between menstrual periods, fever, lower abdominal pain, back pain, fever and cervical tenderness. Symptoms develop within weeks or months after exposure to underlying infection.

What Should I Do If I Think I Have It?
See your clinician or physician immediately for diagnosis, through physical examination, a laparoscopy or pelvic ultrasound. However, physicians may treat based on symptoms and blood tests alone.

How Do I Get Rid of It?
Your physician will treat the underlying infection with oral antibiotics such as penicillin, ampicillin or tetracycline.

What Happens If I Don't Treat It?
Women who do not treat their PID risk elevated risk of ectopic pregnancy, sterility, abscess formation, chronic pelvic pain, arthritis, and, in rare cases, death.

Who Should I Tell?
If you have PID, you should tell any current or very recent partners (i.e., people you had contact with over the last month). Once the disease has been successfully treated, you do not need to tell future partners.

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