What is it?

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) is an infection of the:

  • Neck of the womb (cervix)
  • The lining of the uterus/womb (endometrium); and the fallopian tubes.

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) like chlamydia and gonorrhea can lead to PID but are not the only cause. PID damages the fallopian tubes, uterus and ovaries. This can lead to serious problems.

How do I know if I have it?

PID symptoms may be mild so you don’t even notice them. Symptoms can include:

  • Pain or cramps in the lower abdomen
  • Bleeding or pain during sex
  • Bleeding (spotting) between periods
  • Periods that are heavier and more painful than usual
  • High temperatures, severe pain and feeling unwell.

How did I get it?

STIs that can lead to PID are spread by sexual contact.

How can I make sure I don't get it?

Use a condom to prevent infection. Have regular STI checks – doing this allows STIs to be treated early so that they are stopped from causing serious health issues or being spread to others.

How can the nurse or doctor tell me if I have it?

PID is usually diagnosed by a sexual health nurse or a doctor. They check for inflammation or pain and discomfort. A swab is collected from the cervix and vagina which is sent to a laboratory and tested for chlamydia, gonorrhoea and other infections.

How can I get rid of it?

PID is usually treated with a course of antibiotics. It is important that the treatment is completed. The doctor or nurse may want to see you again to check that the infection is gone, they might want to examine you again or do another test.

Who do I need to tell?

It is important to tell people you have had sex with about PID. They will need to be tested/treated for other STIs. Ask a nurse or doctor if you aren’t sure who you need to tell. They can help you with this and help you contact them.

More information

Before release

Talk to a nurse at your local Health Centre.

After you are released

Sexual Health Info Link is a service that you can call up for information on STIs and sexual health. It’s anonymous and non-judgemental. Free call: 1800 451 624 or visit their website www.shil.nsw.gov.au

For more information on STIs and safe sex visit the Play Safe website: www.playsafe.health.nsw.gov.au “Let them know” allows you to send an anonymous messages to tell someone you’ve had sex with that they have come into contact with the infection: http://www.letthemknow.org.au/