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Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)

  • Definition

    Pelvic inflammatory disease is a general term for infection of the uterus lining, fallopian tubes, or ovaries.

    See also: Endometritis

    Alternative Names

    PID; Oophoritis; Salpingitis; Salpingo-oophoritis; Salpingo-peritonitis

    Causes, incidence, and risk factors

    Most cases of pelvic inflammatory disease are caused by bacteria that move from the vagina or cervix into the uterus, fallopian tubes, ovaries, or pelvis.

    The most common cause of PID is sexual contact without using a condom or other protection. This is called a sexually transmitted disease (STD). Chlamydia and gonorrhea are the two bacteria that cause most cases of PID.

    However, bacteria may also enter the body during some surgical or office procedures, such as:

    • Childbirth
    • Endometrial biopsy
    • Insertion of an intrauterine device (IUD)
    • Miscarriage
    • Therapeutic or elective abortion

    In the United States, nearly 1 million women develop PID each year. About 1 in 8 sexually active adolescent girls will develop PID before age 20.

    Risk factors include:

    • Male sexual partner with gonorrhea or chlamydia
    • Multiple sexual partners
    • Past history of any sexually transmitted disease
    • Past history of PID
    • Recent insertion of an IUD
    • Sexual activity during adolescence