Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is the name we use to refer to infections of the internal genital tract and abdominal areas which include the uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries.
PID is a common and serious complication of certain sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), especially chlamydia infection and gonorrhea.
It is a serious intra-abdominal infection that causes: fever, lethargy, abdominal pain, and even abdominal abscesses that may require surgery.
In addition, PID can lead to serious consequences including infertility, ectopic pregnancy (a pregnancy implanted in a fallopian tube or elsewhere outside the womb), and chronic pelvic pain.
PID occurs when bacteria passes from the vagina or cervix (the opening to the uterus) to other reproductive organs. Various types of organisms can cause PID, many of them associated with gonorrhea and chlamydia, two very common bacterial diseases caught through sexual transmission. These infections are sometimes polymicrobial.
Any abnormal symptoms in the genital area such as a wound or ulcer, odorous discharge, a burning sensation when urinating, or bleeding between menstrual cycles could mean that the woman has an STD infection.
Women who know they have a sexually transmitted disease and are undergoing treatment should inform their recent sexual partners so they can see a doctor and get tested for an STD.