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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Diseases and Conditions > Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
      Category : Health Centers > STDs

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease

Alternate Names : PID

Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

Pelvic inflammatory disease, or PID, is an infection of a woman's reproductive organs. These organs include the uterus, fallopian tubes, and vagina.

What is going on in the body?

PID is usually caused by a sexually transmitted disease. The cervix, or opening to the uterus, may allow bacteria to enter. Then, an infection may begin. This infection can spread to the fallopian tubes and other parts of the body.

What are the causes and risks of the infection?

Most cases of PID are caused by a sexually transmitted disease, such as chlamydia or gonorrhea. In some cases, bacteria that are normally found in the vagina are responsible for PID. Sometimes the specific cause or type of bacteria cannot be found.

PID may also occur after the pelvic organs have been manipulated in some way. This includes procedures such as:

  • abortion
  • biopsy of the lining of the uterus, or endometrial biopsy
  • dilatation and curettage, or D and C
  • insertion of an intrauterine device, or IUD
  • Childbirth puts a woman at risk for developing PID. The following conditions increase this risk:

  • anemia, or low red blood cell count
  • being overweight or obese
  • devices inserted into the uterus to monitor labor, such as fetal heart monitors
  • eclampsia, a pregnancy complication that causes high blood pressure
  • having a forceps delivery or cesarean section
  • a long labor, lasting more than 12 hours
  • many internal exams during labor
  • membranes that have been ruptured for more than 24 hours before delivery
  • preexisting bacterial infection


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    Pelvic Inflammatory Disease: Symptoms & Signs

    Author: Eva Martin, MD
    Reviewer: Carlos Herrera, MD
    Date Reviewed: 06/06/01

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