Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is an infection of the female reproductive organs. It usually occurs when sexually transmitted bacteria spread from your vagina to your uterus, fallopian tubes or ovaries. Many women who develop pelvic inflammatory disease either experience no signs or symptoms or don't seek treatment. Pelvic inflammatory disease may be detected only later when you have trouble getting pregnant or if you develop chronic pelvic pain.
10–15% of women experience PID at least once in their life, most commonly when they are aged 20–24. An estimated one million women are treated for PID in the United States each year, and some 75,000 suffer infertility because of damage to the uterus and fallopian tubes resulting from untreated PID.
Several types of antibiotics can cure PID. Antibiotic treatment does not, however, reverse any scarring caused by the infection. For this reason, it is critical that a woman receive care immediately if she has pelvic pain or other symptoms of PID. Prompt antibiotic treatment can prevent severe damage to the reproductive organs.
Pelvic inflammatory disease epidemiological studies have to move away from a reliance on invasive diagnostic techniques towards syndromic diagnosis which can be used in a variety of clinical settings, including primary care.