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Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (cont.)

Prevention

You can prevent pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) by using condoms. This helps protect you from sexually transmitted infections that cause PID. To learn more, see the topic Safer Sex.

Avoid douching, which increases your risk for vaginal and pelvic infections.

Home Treatment

Use the following home treatment measures to support your recovery.

  • Rest. Rest as much as possible until your symptoms start to get better (usually a couple of days). Then return to your usual activities slowly.
  • Pain medicine. Take regular doses of a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), such as ibuprofen, for pain. If pain doesn't improve within 48 to 72 hours, tell your doctor.

Resuming sex

It's very important that you don't have sexual relations until your treatment is completed. Otherwise, there is a risk that the infection will come back. Talk to your doctor about when it is safe for you to start having sex again.

Medications

Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is usually treated with a broad-spectrum antibiotic, which kills more than one type of bacteria.

How long you need to take antibiotics depends on your infection and the type of antibiotic used. Although you may feel better before you have taken all of your pills, don't stop taking them. If you stop too soon, your infection may return.

Treatment usually takes 14 days. But the number of days you continue to take antibiotics depends on your infection and the type of antibiotic medicine. You may also be able to use a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) to relieve PID pain or discomfort.

It sometimes takes more than one course of medicine to cure PID. Sometimes bacteria can become resistant to an antibiotic. This means that the antibiotic is no longer effective against the bacteria. In this case, you'll need to try another type of antibiotic.

Medication choices

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