Pelvic Inflammatory Disease is a serious infection that usually involves the fallopian tubes and can be caused by many different bacteria. In addition to infecting the fallopian tubes (the tubes that carry the eggs from the ovaries to the uterus), PID can also infect the tissues around and in the uterus and ovaries. It is caused by a number of different bacteria, but is most frequently caused by Gonorrhea and Chlamydia; often both at the same time.
One way that Pelvic Inflammatory Disease can occur is when bacteria (in many cases from a sexually transmitted infection) move from the vagina into the uterus. This can result in serious consequences including infertility, ectopic pregnancy (a pregnancy in the fallopian tube or elsewhere outside of the womb), abscess formation, and chronic pelvic pain.
The symptoms of PID can range from none to severe. About two-thirds of the time, PID goes undetected by health care providers. If symptoms occur they may include: lower back pain, unusual discharge, odor, painful urination, and irregular menstrual bleeding. If PID is left untreated it can cause serious, permanent damage. If detected it can be treated with antibiotics, but the possibility of long-term damage still exists.
If you have had PID before, you are more at risk for another episode, which can cause further damage to your reproductive organs. One out of every 10 women is left infertile after one episode of PID.