What causes pelvic inflammatory disease?

Posted on Wed, 4 Jun 2014 in Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Question: 9 years ago I was diagnosed after a swab test with chlamydia. I took a 2 week course of antibiotics. I was re tested a few times after and each time the results came back negative.

I'm not sure if the chlamydia progressed to PID, but if it had, would the antibiotics have treated that also? Because the tests kept coming back negative, would that also indicate the PID infection (if present) is cured as well.

I'm worried that the chlamydia infection turned into PID without me realizing and that has not been treated all these years.

Thank you.
Answered by Dr. Kakkar S. 23 minutes later
Brief Answer:

Detailed Answer:
Hello and welcome to healthcaremagic

Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is caused by an infection developing in the female upper genital tract.

In most cases, the condition is caused by a bacterial infection spreading from the vagina or cervix into the uterus, fallopian tubes and ovaries.

Risk factors for Pelvic Inflammatory Disease are:

-Have an STD and do not get treated;
-Have more than one sexual partner;
-Have a sex partner who has sex partners other than you;
-Have had PID before;
-Are sexually active and are age 25 or younger;
-Use an intrauterine device (IUD) for birth control.

You may not realize you have PID because your symptoms may be mild, or you may not experience any symptoms.

A positive test for chlamydia supports the diagnosis of PID, but most women have negative swabs and this does not rule out the diagnosis of PID.

You can get PID again if you get infected with an STD again. Also, if you have had PID before, you have a higher chance of getting it again.

So, in your case it could be a past unrecognized PID or a newly acquired Infection (PID).

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
Follow up: Dr. Kakkar S. 6 minutes later
Sorry you did not answer my question, if I no longer have chlamydia, and this has been confirmed by a number of tests, then is it possible that the original chlamydia infection progressed to PID and is still not treated?

If so, how is PID diagnosed, if the chlamydia infection is gone, and there are no/mild symptoms?
Answered by Dr. Kakkar S. 29 minutes later
Brief Answer:

Detailed Answer:

Since you were adequately treated for chlamydia in the past with oral antibiotics (most likely with Doxycycline 100mg, twice daily for 2 weeks), therefore that infection was treated then and there, and there is no question of it persisting till now, provided you completed the course.

However as I mentioned previously, you can get PID again, if you get infected with an STD (chlmydia or gonorrhea) from your sexual partner. Therefore, it is important to treat the sexual partner, simultaneously.

Moreover, since the symptoms of PID may be mild, or you may even not experience any symptoms, you may not realize that you have newly acquired PID.

First and foremost, your doctor will perform a clinical examination/gynecological examination to check for any tenderness and abnormal vaginal discharge.

Clinical examination of a suspected PID is usually supplemented with tests:

-A swab test for gonorrhea and chlamydia
-A urine test for culture
-A pregnancy test to rule out ectopic pregnancy
-Pelvic ultrasound and

Hope this helps

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
Answered by
Dr. Kakkar S.


Practicing since :2002

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