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pelvic inflammatory disease

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Pelvic inflammatory disease describes a spectrum of inflammatory disorders of the upper genital tract, including endometritis, salpingitis, parametritis, oophoritis, tubo-ovarian abscess and pelvic peritonitis which results from an ascending infection from the endocervix (1). It is not associated with surgery or current pregnancy.

PID is an important cause of chronic pelvic pain, infertility and ectopic pregnancy. The disease and its complications account for a significant proportion of the national health budget.

PID is almost always caused by sexually transmitted organisms (2).

The exact incidence is difficult to assess as affected women present to a variety of different specialists.

  • a figure of 10-12 cases per 1000 women of reproductive age is often quoted
  • PID was responsible for one in 60 general practitioner consultations by women under the age of 45 years (3)

The clinical presentation of PID is undistinguished, and the diagnosis of PID is often made erroneously. PID may also be an acronym for "poorly investigated disease."