Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Women's Health

Font Size

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease - What Increases Your Risk

You are more likely to get pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) if you:

  • Are at risk for sexually transmitted infection (STI). Sexually active teens and young women have the highest rate of STIs. Having sex without using a condom increases your risk for STIs.
  • Have had PID before. If you have had PID once, your reproductive tract may be less able to fight a new infection because of scar tissue from past PID.
  • Have had chlamydia before. A second infection can cause more irritation and pelvic organ damage that is worse than the first time.
  • Douche. Doctors advise against douching, because it can cause vaginal and pelvic infections.

Some medical procedures can increase your risk of PID by introducing bacteria into the reproductive tract. These include:

Recommended Related to Women

Martha Stewart Comes Clean

By Jenny Allen The domestic diva opens up about the pain in her past, the love in her life, and how she bounced back big time. Martha Stewart takes a forkful of lemon pie and savors it. "Isn't this good?" she asks in that trademark low, plummy voice. We're lunching in her office at the Manhattan TV studio where she's just finished hosting a live broadcast of The Martha Stewart Show, her Emmy award-winning daily program. She sits at one end of the sleek rectangular table that...

Read the Martha Stewart Comes Clean article > >

  • Scraping the lining of the uterus (D&C) or taking a tissue sample (biopsy).
  • Inserting an IUD. Your risk of infection can be reduced if:
    • You are tested and treated for STIs and bacterial vaginosis (if detected) before IUD insertion.
    • The insertion is done carefully to minimize the chance of infection (clean technique).
  • Examining the uterus or fallopian tubes with a lighted viewing tube (hysteroscopy or hysterosalpingogram).
  • Inducing abortion.

In some cases, PID can spread from tuberculosis bacteria that have spread to the pelvic area.

PID is rare in women who aren't sexually active, don't have menstrual periods, are pregnant, or have had their uterus or ovaries removed.

1

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: November 23, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
Next Article:

Today on WebMD

woman looking in mirror
Article
Woman resting on fitness ball
Evaluator
 
woman collapsed over laundry
Quiz
Public restroom door sign
Slideshow
 
Couple with troubles
Article
cat on couch
Evaluator
 
Young woman being vaccinated
Slideshow
woman holding hand to ear
Slideshow
 
Blood pressure check
Slideshow
mother and daughter talking
Evaluator
 
intimate couple
Article
puppy eating
Slideshow