Pelvic Inflammatory Disease

What is PID?

Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is an infection of the female reproductive system.

It may occur when an STI is left untreated and spreads from the vagina and cervix into the uterus and fallopian tubes.

PID can be serious and can lead to infertility.

How do you get it?

PID may be caused by getting a sexually transmissible infection (STI) such as chlamydia or gonorrhoea, which then spreads.

Other causes of PID include after getting an IUD inserted or after an abortion. The normal bacteria in your vagina can also cause PID.

What are the symptoms?

  • Pain in the lower stomach or back
  • Pain during sex
  • Fevers
  • Different discharge
  • Heavy or painful periods
  • Bleeding after sex or between periods

However there may not be any symptoms at all.

How is it treated?

If the doctor or nurse thinks it is very likely that you have PID, they will give you antibiotics. It’s important you finish all of the antibiotics, even if you start to feel better.

You will be advised not to have sex while you are taking the antibiotics.

Your partner should also get an STI test and have treatment before you have sex again, otherwise you could catch the STI again.

If you have PID more than once, it can cause infertility (difficult to get pregnant), ectopic pregnancy (in the fallopian tubes) or can leave you with long term pain.

How will it impact my partner/s?

If you have PID, you should talk to your partner about getting an STI test and treatment.

How can I stop getting it in future?

Use condoms and lube every time you have sex. Wash your hands and use a different condom between vaginal sex and anal sex.

Make sure you and your sexual partners get regular STI tests and treatment if needed.

Family Planning has clinics located throughout New Zealand. Use the clinic finder to find your nearest clinic.