How Does Pelvic Inflammatory Disease Cause Infertility? | Treatments For PID

Pelvic inflammatory disease is an infection that affects a woman's reproductive system. It is a common complication of certain STDs, such as chlamydia and gonorrhea. One out of every ten women with PID becomes infertile. PID can lead to scarring of the fallopian tubes. This scarring can clog the tubes, preventing an egg from getting fertilized.

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Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) is an infection of the female reproductive organs. It typically occurs when bacteria from the vagina move to the uterine cavity, fallopian tubes, or ovaries. PID is a major issue in women’s reproductive health, affecting a large number of women worldwide. This blog will delve into the complexities of PID, shining light on its causes and treatments and study the numerous signs and symptoms associated with it. 

What Causes Pelvic Inflammatory Disease?

PID is primarily caused by the spread of infection, usually bacterial, from the cervical cavity to the upper genital tract. Other factors include: 

1. Sexually Transmitted diseases (STDs): The most common causes of PID are sexually transmitted illnesses such as chlamydia and gonorrhoea. These infections accelerate the inflammatory process, affecting the uterus and other pelvic organs.

2. Infections after childbirth or abortion: Infections after childbirth or abortion, particularly in the absence of basic hygiene habits, can be significant causes of PID.

 3. Intrauterine Device (IUD) Use: Although uncommon, the use of IUDs has been related to a higher risk of PID, particularly in the first few weeks after insertion.

Symptoms of PID

Recognizing the broad spectrum of symptoms associated with pelvic inflammatory disease is critical for early detection and personalised treatment. Typical symptoms include:

1. Pelvic Pain: A chronic and typically severe symptom of PID, pelvic pain is caused by an infection or inflammation inside the reproductive organs.

2. Abnormal Vaginal Discharge: Due to the infection affecting the cervical glands, an unusual discharge with a foul smell may appear, presenting a specific symptom of PID.

3. Irritation or Pain During Urination: Another noticeable sign of pelvic inflammation is pain or discomfort during urination.

4. Excessive Menstrual Bleeding: PID can cause changes in menstrual patterns, such as heavier or more painful periods, which can be a noticeable symptom.

5. Fever and exhaustion: Fever and fatigue can occur alongside PID. This indicates that the infection is more widespread.

PID Complications that Cause Infertility

If left untreated, pelvic inflammatory disease can lead to scar tissue and patches of infected fluids in the reproductive system. These may permanently damage the reproductive organs.

The damage could lead to the following complications:

Ectopic pregnancy: PID is a significant contributor to tubal (ectopic) pregnancy. When untreated PID causes scar tissue to form in the fallopian tubes, an ectopic pregnancy may occur. The scar tissue blocks the fertilised egg from passing through the fallopian tube and implanting in the uterus. The egg instead implants in the fallopian tube. Ectopic pregnancies can result in severe, life-threatening bleeding and necessitate immediate medical intervention.

Fertility problems: Your inability to conceive may result from damage to your reproductive organs. The likelihood of infertility increases with the number of PID episodes you have. Your chance of becoming infertile also rises noticeably if you put off receiving treatment for PID.

Recurring pain in the pelvis: Pelvic pain resulting from pelvic inflammatory disease may last for several months or even years. Pain during ovulation and sexual activity may be a result of scarring in the fallopian tubes along with other pelvic organs.

Abscess in Ovarian tubes: An abscess, or accumulation of pus, could develop in your reproductive tract as a result of PID. Abscesses can form in the uterus or other pelvic organs, but they typically affect the ovaries and fallopian tubes. An infection that could be fatal could arise from an untreated abscess.

When to visit a doctor?

Consult with a doctor if you suffer from:

  • Intense pain in the lower abdomen
  • Sickness, nausea and an inability to digest anything
  • Fever above 101 F (38.3 C).
  • Foul smelling vaginal discharge

See a medical professional as soon as possible even if your PID signs and symptoms aren’t too severe.

Treatments for PID and Pregnancy

Treatment for pelvic inflammatory disease must be approached thoroughly in order to be effective. The following treatments are implemented for PID:

1. Antibiotic Therapy: The main strategy for identifying and getting rid of the bacteria generating the infection is to give broad-spectrum antibiotics. To guarantee total removal of the bacteria, the antibiotic course must be completed.

2. Pain Management: To reduce pelvic discomfort and pain, over-the-counter or prescription painkillers may be suggested. This is an important part of treatment.

3. Proper Rest: Throughout the course of the treatment, getting sufficient rest is essential to allow the body to heal. The key to preventing reinfection is to refrain from having sexual relations until the infection has cleared.

4. Treatment for Partners: In the event that STDs are the main cause of PID, testing and treatment for partners is necessary to stop the infection from recurring.

If the damage caused by PID is irreversible or difficult to cure, fertility treatments, including ART treatments can be availed to conceive successfully. The following are the most commonly used fertility treatments:

IUI or intrauterine insemination: In the process, at the time of ovulation, healthy sperm are extracted and injected directly into your uterus, increasing the chances of pregnancy in case of blocked tubes. 

IVF or in vitro fertilisation: In this process, eggs are extracted from the ovaries and fertilised in a laboratory using sperm. After the embryos are developed, they are implanted into the uterus by a fertility specialist.

Donor sperm, donor eggs, and donor embryos: Donor cells are used if there is an inability to access one’s own eggs or sperm due to a damage in the ovaries or testes.  


Fertility experts at Progenesis Fertility Center believe that Pelvic Inflammatory Disease is a serious threat to reproductive health, although it is treatable if caught early. As per the suggestion of our specialists, regular gynaecological check-ups, safe sex, and getting immediate medical assistance for any symptoms of infection are all important preventive measures that can help you avoid PID. Individuals can take proactive actions to maintain their reproductive health and overall well-being by raising awareness about PID.


What happens when PID goes untreated for too long?

If PID is not treated, it can lead to major health complications, including death. The infection has the potential to spread to other places of your body. PID might raise your chances of having an ectopic pregnancy, which can be fatal. PID patients may endure chronic pain in their lower abdomen as well as infertility.

How long does it take for PID to develop?

If untreated gonorrhoea or chlamydia is the culprit, PID can develop between a few days to a few weeks. If you receive PID from somewhere else, it could take months to develop.

How long does PID last after treatment?

In most cases of PID, full recovery is achievable, especially if diagnosed early. An antibiotic regimen should clean it up in 10 to 14 days. Full recovery may be impossible if scarring and abscesses cause damage. If you do need surgery, it can take as long as six weeks to heal, and the damage may be permanent.

What antibiotics treat pelvic inflammatory disease?

Oral therapy is typically administered with doxycycline; however, azithromycin may also be utilized. All patients should be reassessed in 72 hours for clinical improvement and adherence to their antibiotic treatment.

How to test yourself for PID?

– Inspect for peculiar discharge: Take note of any changes in the colour or odour of your vaginal fluid. A discharge that is thicker than usual or has a foul odour could indicate PID.
– Take note of any abdominal pain: PID frequently produces lower abdominal or pelvic pain.

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