Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)

Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is a condition in which the upper reproductive organs in a woman become infected. The disease can affect the lining of the uterus, ovaries and fallopian tubes. Untreated PID may cause scar tissue and collections of infected fluid (abscesses) to develop in your fallopian tubes and damage your reproductive organs.


Several symptoms are associated with PID:

  • Excessive bleeding
  • Pain
  • Cramps
  • Fever

Intrauterine devices (IUDs) — birth control devices — have been associated with uterine damage and pelvic inflammatory disease, which, if left untreated, can lead to fallopian tube scarring in some women who used them. This may be caused by the introduction of bacteria into the uterus when the IUD is inserted.

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) have also been linked to PID. Chlamydia can do permanent damage if left untreated and can lead to PID.


Antibiotic therapy is the standard treatment for PID caused by active infections. Depending upon the extent of the disease, some of the scar tissue (adhesions) may be diagnosed and removed by laparoscopy or laparotomy. If the uterus has been affected, a hysteroscopy may be performed to correct the damage. If the damage is extensive and the uterus cannot be repaired, the woman may choose the option of a surrogate, also known as a gestational carrier.

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