Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) is a general term for infection of the female reproductive organs, which can affect the lining of the uterus (womb), the fallopian tubes (tubes that carry eggs from ovaries to uterus), or ovaries. The infection usually occurs when bacteria is transmitted sexually through the vagina and travels to the female upper reproductive tract. Some female contraceptive devices or gynecologic procedures can also cause the disease.
Many women with pelvic inflammatory disease do not experience symptoms or don't seek treatment. PID causes scarring on the reproductive organs that can lead to infertility and other complications, so it is important to prevent the disease through practicing safe sex or seeking prompt treatment.
Contact your health care provider if you have any risk factors or symptoms of PID.
Nearly 1 million women in the U.S. develop PID each year.
Women at greater risk for PID include those at risk for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and those with a prior history of sexually transmitted disease or PID.
Specific risk factors of PID include:
Being sexually active under the age 25 years
Having multiple sexual partners
Having an IUD inserted
Sexually active women under 25 years old are especially at risk because the cervix (opening to the uterus) of teens and young women has greater susceptibility to STIs. This may be because the cervix of teenage girls and young women is not fully matured.
It is estimated that 1 in 8 sexually active adolescent girls will develop PID before reaching age 20.