Symptoms and Signs of Pelvic Inflammatory Disease

Medical Author: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP
Medically Reviewed on 3/11/2019

Doctor's Notes on Pelvic Inflammatory Disease

Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is an infection of a woman's reproductive organs including the uterus, Fallopian tubes, ovaries, and surrounding structures. Some types of PID include cervicitis (inflammation of the cervix), salpingitis (inflammation of the Fallopian tubes), endometritis (inflammation present in the lining tissues of the uterus), and peritonitis (inflammation of the peritoneum, the membrane that lines the abdominal cavity and covers most of the abdominal organs). Pelvic inflammatory disease is commonly caused by bacteria transmitted through sexual contact and other bodily secretions.

Symptoms of pelvic inflammatory disease may be worse toward the end of a menstrual period and for the first few days following a period and may include abdominal pain (especially lower abdominal pain) or tenderness, back pain, abnormal uterine bleeding, unusual or heavy vaginal discharge, painful urination, or painful sexual intercourse. Other symptoms of pelvic inflammatory disease include fever, nausea, and vomiting.

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Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.