Coping With Pelvic Infection
Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
affects 100,000 Canadian women, and
over one million women in the United
States. It is the leading cause of
preventable infertility and tubal
pregnancy. Other long-term
complications such as chronic pain,
scarring of pelvic organs, and chronic
infection, are common after only one
What Is PID?
PID is an infection or inflammation of
a woman's uterus, tubes, and ovaries.
PID is usually caused by sexually
transmitted diseases like chlamydia and
gonorrhea. Chlamydia is the main cause
of new PID in women age 15 to 29. If
left untreated, these infections can
travel up into the uterus and tubes.
Women who have procedures that open the
cervix like D-and-C's, abortions, and
insertion of IUD's are also vulnerable
How Can A Woman Tell If She Has PID?
- Symptoms include lower abdominal pain,
low back pain, fatigue, fever, vaginal
discharge, vaginal bleeding, abdominal
swelling, painful sex and painful
periods. Often there are no symptoms
present or just one or two.
- The diagnosis is suspected if the
doctor finds uterine and tubal
tenderness or swelling, and pain on
moving the cervix during pelvic exam.
- Cervical cultures and blood tests may
- Definitive diagnosis only through
laparoscopic exam with cultures being
taken for confirmation.
Three Part Treatment Of PID
- Multiple antibiotics to kill the
- Sexual partners treated with
- Complete bed rest and abstinence from
sex to help the pelvic organs heal.
Hysterectomy is NOT recommended
although one in every ten women
hospitalised with PID in Canada
receives a hysterectomy. Even with
severe infections, treatment with
intravenous antibiotics and surgical
drainage has been found to be more
successful than hysterectomy.
- Yearly chlamydia cultures, especially
for those under 24 and between 15 and
19, and for each new sexual partner.
Also check for common vaginal infection
known as bacterial vaginosis.
- Condom use offers the best protection
against chlamydia, gonorrhea, herpes,
venereal warts and AIDS.
Canadian PID Society, PO Box 33804, Stn
D, Vancouver, BC. V6J 4L6. Phone: