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Sexual and Reproductive Health

Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)

​​PID is a serious infection of the uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries.

How do I get PID?

PID can be caused by germs from a sexually transmitted infection (STI) like gonorrhea or chlamydia, or an overgrowth of germs that are normally in the vagina.

The infection can spread to the reproductive organs. You can also get PID if your cervix is opened during a medical procedure.

How do I prevent PID?

When you’re sexually active, the best way to prevent PID is to use condoms​ or another barrier method, for oral, vaginal, and anal sex.

Don’t have any sexual contact if you or your partner(s) have symptoms of an STI or may have been exposed to an STI. See a doctor or go to an STI clinic for testing.

Get STI testing every 3 to 6 months if you have:

  • a new partner
  • more than one partner
  • anonymous partners
  • any symptoms

How do I know I have PID?

If you have PID, you might​ have:

  • pain when having sex
  • vaginal discharge
  • nausea or vomiting
  • feeling unwell and tired
  • pain in the lower abdomen or back
  • chills or fever (temperature over 38.5°C)
  • irregular vaginal bleeding

If you have any of these symptoms, see a nurse or doctor right away.

Only a nurse or doctor can diagnose you with PID by doing a pelvic exam to check your reproductive organs.

Is PID harmful?

PID can cause serious health problems like infertility. It can also increase your chance of having a tubal pregnancy and long-term pelvic pain.

These effects can be prevented if you get early STI testing and treatment.

How is PID treated?

PID is treated with antibiotics. You and your sexual partner(s) must be tested and treated. You can get re-infected if you have unprotected sex with someone before they are treated.

Start treatment right away and take all of your medicine, even if you start to feel better. Return to the clinic that treated you 2 to 3 days after starting your medicine to make sure you're getting better. If your symptoms aren't better, you may need a different treatment. If you lose your pills or can't finish them for any reason, go back to the clinic where you were treated.

When can I have sex again?

It’s important not to have sex (oral, vaginal, or anal) until you and your partner(s) have finished all of your medicine.

If you still have symptoms, don’t have any sexual contact.

What if I still have symptoms following treatment?

Please contact your healthcare provider.​

Where can I find more information?

If you have questions, need to find a clinic near you, or want more informatio​n, call Health Link at 811 anytime, day or night, to talk to a registered nurse.​​

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