Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)
PID is a bacterial infection of the female upper genital tract, including the womb, fallopian tubes and ovaries.
Most cases of PID are caused by an infection in the vagina or the neck of the womb (cervix) that has spread to the reproductive organs higher up.
Many different types of bacteria can cause PID, but most cases are the result of a chlamydia or gonorrhoea infection.
PID most commonly develops in sexually active women between the ages of 15 and 24 and is fairly common.
Many women with PID experience few or no symptoms, although abdominal pain, unusual bleeding (after sex or between periods) and pain during sex are common symptoms.
Tests and treatment
An examination and swab tests are needed to diagnose PID. If diagnosed at an early stage, PID can be treated quickly and efficiently with antibiotics.
However, if left untreated, it can lead to more serious long-term complications such as an ectopic pregnancy and an increased risk of infertility.
If a woman is diagnosed with PID, treatment is generally advised for her sexual partner too, even though not all PID is caused by a sexually transmitted infection.