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Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) - aftercare

You have just seen your health care provider for pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). PID refers to an infection of the uterus (womb), fallopian tubes, or ovaries.

Treating the Infection

To fully treat PID, you may need to take one or more antibiotics. Taking antibiotic medicine will help clear the infection in about 2 weeks.

  • Take this medicine at the same time every day.
  • Take all the medicine you were prescribed, even if you feel better. The infection can come back if you do not take all of it.
  • DO NOT share antibiotics with others.
  • DO NOT take antibiotics that were prescribed for a different illness.
  • Ask if you should avoid any foods, alcohol, or other medications while taking antibiotics for PID.

To prevent PID from coming back, your sexual partner must be treated as well.

  • If your partner is not treated, your partner can infect you again.
  • Both you and your partner must take all the antibiotics prescribed to you.
  • Use condoms until you both have finished taking antibiotics.
  • If you have more than one sexual partner, they must all be treated to avoid re-infection.

Side Effects of Treatment

Antibiotics can have side effects, including:

  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach pain
  • Rash and itching
  • Vaginal yeast infection

Let your provider know if you experience any side effects. DO NOT cut back or stop taking your medicine without taking with your doctor.

Antibiotics kill the bacteria that cause PID. But they also kill other types of helpful bacteria in your body. This can cause diarrhea or vaginal yeast infections in women.

Probiotics are small organisms found in yogurt and some supplements. Probiotics are thought to help friendly bacteria grow in your gut. This may help prevent diarrhea. However, studies are mixed about the benefits of probiotics.

You can try eating yogurt with live cultures or taking supplements to help prevent side effects. Be sure to tell your doctor if you take any supplements.

Prevent Future Infections With Safe sex

The only sure way to prevent an STI is to not have sex (abstinence). But you can reduce your risk of PID by:

  • Practicing safe sex
  • Having a sexual relationship with only one person
  • Using a condom every time you have sex

When to Call the Doctor

Call your health care provider if:

  • You have symptoms of PID.
  • You think you have been exposed to an STI.
  • Treatment for a current STI does not seem to be working.

Alternative Names

PID - aftercare; Oophoritis - aftercare; Salpingitis - aftercare; Salpingo - oophoritis - aftercare; Salpingo - peritonitis - aftercare; STD - PID aftercare; Sexually transmitted disease - PID aftercare; GC - PID aftercare; Gonococcal - PID aftercare; Chlamydia - PID aftercare

References

Crum-Cianflone NF. Pelvic Inflammatory Disease. N Engl J Med. 2015;13;373(7):686. PMID: 26267641 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26267641.

Soper DE. Infections of the female pelvis. In: Bennett JE, Dolin R, Blaser MJ, eds. Mandell, Douglas, and Bennett's Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases. 8th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2015:chap 111.

Workowski KA, Bolan GA; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Sexually transmitted diseases treatment guidelines, 2015. MMWR Recomm Rep. 2015;64(RR-03):1-137. PMID: 26042815 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26042815.

Review Date 4/5/2016

Updated by: Irina Burd, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Gynecology and Obstetrics at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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