Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) causes inflammation in the uterus and fallopian tubes . In turn, the inflammation can form scar tissue in the abdominal cavity and the reproductive organs. This doesn't always cause symptoms. But the scar tissue can cause:
- Infertility. Scarring inside the fallopian tubes is permanent and can twist or block the tubes. When the tubes are blocked, a woman's eggs can't get to the uterus.
- Tubal (ectopic) pregnancy. Sometimes the scarring traps a fertilized egg in the fallopian tube, where it begins to grow. This requires emergency treatment.
- Chronic (ongoing) pelvic pain. For more information, see the topic Chronic Female Pelvic Pain.
PID may also occur inside the belly as:
- A pocket of pus, such as a tubo-ovarian abscess.
- Pelvic peritonitis, an infection of the lower belly.
- An inflammation around the outside of the liver.
The longer treatment is delayed, the more likely you are to have permanent damage. And the more often you have repeat infections, the higher your chances of having problems.