Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) is defined as the infection of the uterus (womb), fallopian tubes and/or ovaries.

The most common causes include infection by gonorrhoea and Chlamydia, both of which are sexually transmitted diseases.  However not all cases are sexually transmitted.  Post-partum, miscarriage and intra-uterine contraceptive devices can also cause PID.  Younger women and teenagers are more commonly affected.  Women who have multiple partners or whose partner has multiple sexual partners are at a higher risk.  Patients suffering from PID may not have any symptoms.  However, symptoms may include:

·                                                           pain during sex

·                                                            pelvic pain and pain in the lower abdomen

·                                                            bleeding between periods and after sex

·                                                            changes in vaginal discharge

·                                                            fever and vomiting

PID can cause endometritis (i.e inflammation and infection of the endometrium), salpingitis (inflammation and infection of the fallopian tubes), parametritis (inflammation and infection of the tissue around the womb), oophoritis (inflammation and infection of the ovaries), pelvic peritonitis (inflammation and infection of the peritoneum) and an abscess in the ovary or fallopian tube.

Diagnosis of PID depends on a combination of symptoms and multiple tests including ultra-sound examination and laparoscopy. Complications of PID include infertility, ectopic pregnancy and haemorrhage. PID can be treated with a triple course of antibiotics during which time sexual contact should be avoided.

The patient’s current partner should be referred for tests for Sexually Acquired Infections.