Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID): Causes, Symptoms and Treatment Options

Gytree Team
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Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID): Causes, Symptoms and Treatment Options

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) is a common but often misunderstood condition that affects women's reproductive organs. Understanding its causes, effects, and when to seek help is crucial for early detection and effective management.

Causes of Pelvic Inflammatory Disease:

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease typically stems from untreated or inadequately treated sexually transmitted infections (STIs), most commonly chlamydia and gonorrhoea. These infections can ascend into the upper reproductive organs, including the uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries, causing inflammation and potential scarring. Other risk factors for Pelvic Inflammatory Disease include multiple sexual partners, a history of PID, or using intrauterine devices (IUDs).

Age Group Affected:


PID can affect women of any age who are sexually active, but it is more common in sexually active women under the age of 25. Younger women may be at a higher risk due to increased sexual activity and a potentially higher likelihood of encountering STIs.

Effects of PID:


Pelvic Inflammatory Disease can have significant physical effects, including chronic pelvic pain, discomfort during intercourse, and an increased risk of ectopic pregnancies. The scarring resulting from PID may lead to long-term reproductive issues, including infertility.

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) can manifest through a variety of signs and symptoms, and being aware of these indicators is crucial for early detection and timely medical intervention. Here are the common signs and symptoms of PID in women:

Pelvic Pain: Persistent or intermittent pain in the lower abdomen or pelvic region is a common symptom of PID. The discomfort can range from mild to severe and may be experienced on one or both sides.

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID): Causes, Symptoms and Treatment Options

Abnormal Vaginal Discharge: Changes in vaginal discharge, such as an increase in volume, unusual colour (yellow or green), or a foul odour, can be indicative of an infection affecting the reproductive organs.

Painful Intercourse: Pain or discomfort during sexual intercourse, known as dyspareunia, is a symptom of PID. The inflammation in the pelvic organs can lead to sensitivity and pain during intimate activities.

Irregular Menstrual Bleeding: PID can cause irregularities in the menstrual cycle, including heavier or lighter bleeding than usual. Changes in menstrual patterns may be observed.

Fever and Chills: A fever, often accompanied by chills, is a systemic response to infection. If PID progresses, a woman may experience flu-like symptoms as her body attempts to fight the infection.

Painful Urination: In some cases, Pelvic Inflammatory Disease may cause discomfort or a burning sensation during urination. This symptom can overlap with urinary tract infections (UTIs) but should still be assessed by a healthcare professional.


Fatigue: General fatigue and a feeling of overall unwellness may accompany PID. The body's immune response to infection can contribute to tiredness and a lack of energy.

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID): Causes, Symptoms and Treatment Options

Pain in the Upper Abdomen: In severe cases or if the infection spreads, pain may be felt in the upper abdomen or even the shoulders. This can be a sign of complications such as an abscess or peritonitis.

Nausea and Vomiting: Advanced cases of PID may cause nausea and vomiting. These symptoms suggest a more systemic response to the infection and should prompt immediate medical attention.

Painful Bowel Movements: Inflammation in the pelvic region can lead to discomfort or pain during bowel movements. This can be a less common but notable symptom of PID.


The mental toll of Pelvic Inflammatory Disease should not be underestimated. The potential impact on fertility, coupled with the stigma associated with STIs, can lead to emotional distress, anxiety, and a strain on intimate relationships. Open communication with healthcare professionals and support networks is vital for addressing mental health concerns.

When to Seek Help:

Prompt medical attention is crucial when Pelvic Inflammatory Disease is suspected. Seeking help if you experience symptoms such as pelvic pain, abnormal vaginal discharge, fever, or pain during intercourse is essential. Delayed treatment can lead to severe complications, emphasizing the importance of early intervention.

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID): Causes, Symptoms and Treatment Options


With timely and appropriate treatment, the prognosis for PID is generally positive. However, untreated or recurrent infections can lead to more severe complications, including chronic pelvic pain and fertility issues. Regular follow-up with healthcare providers is recommended to monitor progress and address any ongoing concerns.

Treatment Options:

Treatment for Pelvic Inflammatory Disease typically involves a combination of antibiotics to eliminate the infection. In severe cases or when an abscess is present, hospitalization may be necessary for intravenous antibiotics. Sexual partners should also be treated to prevent reinfection. It's crucial to complete the full course of antibiotics even if symptoms improve, and follow-up testing may be recommended to ensure the infection is completely resolved.

Understanding PID, its causes, and the importance of seeking help is paramount for women's reproductive health. Regular screenings for STIs, practising safe sex, and seeking prompt medical attention when symptoms arise contribute to the prevention and early detection of PID. By fostering awareness and open communication about PID, we can work towards minimizing its impact on women's health and well-being. Consult our Gytree experts if you seem to be experiencing similar complaints.

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