Who Is Affected by Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)
Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is
difficult to diagnose because many women have no symptoms or mild symptoms that
can be mistaken for another condition. Because diagnosis is difficult, there
are no accurate statistics showing how common PID is in the general population.
But some general facts are known:
PID is one of the most common gynecological
problems in women worldwide.
PID commonly develops after infection
sexually transmitted infections (STIs), especially
chlamydia. PID risk is also increased when healthy
bacteria in the vagina become outnumbered by other organisms
Young women ages
15 to 24 have the highest rate of PID in the general population. This is
related to the higher rate of infection by bacterial STIs (mostly chlamydia and
gonorrhea) among women in this age group.
Many women with PID
develop long-term health problems. About 8% of women who have had PID once
become infertile (compared with 1% of women who have never had PID).1 After having PID, about 20% of women develop
ongoing (chronic) pelvic pain. PID also increases a
woman's risk of
tubal (ectopic) pregnancy.2
Paavonen J, et al. (2008). Pelvic inflammatory disease. In KK Holmes et al., eds., Sexually Transmitted Diseases, 4th ed., pp. 1017-1050. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Soper DE (2010). Infections of the female pelvis. In Mandell, Douglas and Bennett's Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases, 7th ed., vol. 1, pp. 1511-1519. Philadelphia: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier.
Primary Medical Reviewer
Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer
Kirtly Jones, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology
November 23, 2010
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
November 23, 2010
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