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 medicines 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 reinfection.
Side Effects of Treatment
Antibiotics can have side effects, including:
- 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 talking 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 provider 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 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.
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
Beigi RH. Infections of the female pelvis. In: Bennett JE, Dolin R, Blaser MJ, eds. Mandell, Douglas, and Bennett's Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases. 9th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 109.
Richards DB, Taha J. Pelvic inflammatory disease. In: Bakes KM, Buchanan JA, Moreira ME, Byyny R, Pons PT, eds. Emergency Medicine Secrets. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2022:chap 78.
Smith RP. Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). In: Smith RP, ed. Netter's Obstetrics and Gynecology. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2018:chap 155.
Workowski KA, Bachmann LH, Chan PA, et al. Sexually Transmitted Infections Treatment Guidelines, 2021. MMWR Recomm Rep. 2021;70(4):1-187. PMID: 34292926 pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34292926/.
Review Date 1/10/2022
Updated by: John D. Jacobson, MD, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Loma Linda University School of Medicine, Loma Linda, CA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.