Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Pelvic Inflammatory Disease Overview

What is pelvic inflammatory disease?
A woman with pelvic inflammatory disease has an infection of the female reproductive organs in the pelvis. Pelvic inflammatory disease is usually caused by a sexually transmitted disease, such as a gonorrhea or chlamydia infection. About 10 percent of all women experience pelvic inflammatory disease. Pelvic inflammatory disease is a common cause of infertility.

What are the symptoms of pelvic inflammatory disease?
Symptoms of pelvic inflammatory disease include vaginal discharge, lower abdominal pain, fever, pain during intercourse, nausea, vomiting, lower back pain, and heavy menstrual bleeding. Less common symptoms include a rash, joint pains, and joint swelling.

How does the doctor treat pelvic inflammatory disease?
Treatment for pelvic inflammatory disease includes antibiotics, and acetaminophen or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications for pain and fever, and narcotic pain medications. Rarely, surgery is required to drain an infection that has formed a pelvic abscess.

Continue to Pelvic Inflammatory Disease Incidence

Last Updated: Sep 25, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Pelvic Inflammatory Disease References
  1. Banikarim C, Chacko MR. Pelvic inflammatory disease in adolescents. Semin Pediatr Infect Dis. 2005 Jul;16(3):175-80. [16044391]
  2. Beigi RH, Wiesenfeld HC. Pelvic inflammatory disease: new diagnostic criteria and treatment. Obstet Gynecol Clin North Am. 2003 Dec;30(4):777-93. [14719850]
  3. Cassell J, Kell P, Adler M. Pelvic inflammatory disease: a review. J Int Assoc Physicians AIDS Care. 1997 Oct;3(10):20-3. [11364742]
  4. Wiesenfeld HC, Sweet RL, Ness RB, Krohn MA, Amortegui AJ, Hillier SL. Comparison of acute and subclinical pelvic inflammatory disease. Sex Transm Dis. 2005 Jul;32(7):400-5. [15976596]
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