What's the Treatment for Pelvic Inflammatory Disease?

Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is an infection of the female reproductive system. It’s usually caused by a sexually transmitted infection. If you have it, most likely your doctor will give you antibiotics, but sometimes a hospital stay may be needed.

The Basics

PID can affect different parts of your reproductive system, including the uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries. If it’s not treated properly, you can end up with repeated infections, or it may make it hard for you to have a baby.

Several kinds of bacterial infections can give you PID, including gonorrhea, chlamydia and mycoplasma genitalium. About 770,000 women get it each year.

Medications

Several different types of antibiotics have been found to work against the illness, and you may be given several types to take together.

You’ll most likely be taking antibiotics for 2 weeks. You should always follow the directions and take all of them, even if you feel better.

Your symptoms should improve within 3 days. If they don’t, you should go back to your doctor, because you may need to try something else.

Hospitalization

In more serious cases, your treatment may include a stay in the hospital. There may be several reasons for this:

  • You’ve been taking antibiotics and your symptoms aren’t improving. Your doctor might ask you to take more tests to figure out why.
  • You need to take antibiotics with an IV. If you’re not able to keep pills down, for instance, your doctor will want you to get antibiotics directly into your body with intravenous fluids.
  • You’ve developed what’s called a “tubo-ovarian abscess.” This happens when part of an ovary or fallopian tube fills with infected fluid that needs to be drained. IV antibiotics are usually given first to see if they’ll clear up the infection.
  • You are sick to your stomach, vomiting or running a high fever. Your doctor might not be able to rule out another abdominal problem, such as appendicitis.

Tell Your Partner

You should tell anyone you’ve had sex with in the past 60 days about your illness. If it’s been longer than 60 days since you’ve had sex, tell your most recent partner, who should also get treated.

You should not have sex while you’re undergoing treatment for PID, and neither should your partner.

WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Traci C. Johnson, MD on June 2, 2018

Sources

SOURCES:

CDC: “Pelvic Inflammatory Disease.”

Infectious Diseases in Obstetrics and Gynecology: “Treatment of Acute Pelvic Inflammatory Disease.”

Johns Hopkins Medicine: “Pelvic Inflammatory Disease.”

National Health Service (U.K.): “Complications of pelvic inflammatory disease.”

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