Pelvic inflammatory disease

Synonyms: PID

Medical Specialties: Internal medicine, Obstetrics/gynecology


Clinical Definition

Pelvic inflammatory disease is an infection of the female pelvic region that may involve the fallopian tubes, uterus and ovaries. The disease occurs as a complication of a sexually transmitted infection, commonly caused by the organisms Neisseria gonorrhoeae and chlamydia trachomatis. Pelvic inflammatory disease can lead to the formation of fibrous tissue affecting the reproductive organs and cause infertility.


In Our Own Words

Pelvic inflammatory disease is the most common cause of infertility in women and ectopic pregnancy. It can cause damage to one or more reproductive organs, such as the ovaries, uterus, and fallopian tubes. It is transmitted through sexual contact.

Sexually transmitted diseases, such as chlamydia and gonorrhea are caused by bacteria. The bacteria can move through the cervix and travel up to the reproductive organs, which leads to inflammation. As a result of inflammation, scar tissue can form on the organs, which can cause infertility. Recurrent pelvic inflammatory disease can also increase a woman’s chances of having an ectopic pregnancy.

Relevant Conditions
  • Female infertility
  • Ectopic pregnancy
  • Chlamydia
  • Gonorrhea
Common Types
  • Acute
  • Chronic
Side Effects
  • Pelvic pain
  • Irregular periods
  • Fever
  • Abnormal vaginal discharge
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