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Long-term complications of pelvic inflammatory disease

Jeffrey F Peipert, MD, PhD
Tessa Madden, MD, MPH
Section Editor
Robert L Barbieri, MD
Deputy Editor
Sandy J Falk, MD, FACOG


Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) refers to infection of the female upper genital tract leading to one or more of the following: endometritis, salpingitis, oophoritis, pelvic peritonitis, and perihepatitis [1]. Prompt diagnosis and treatment are important to reduce the risk of both short- and long-term complications. However, even with timely treatment and clinical improvement in symptoms, long-term sequelae frequently occur; this is thought to be secondary to the scarring and adhesion formation that accompany healing of infection-damaged tissues. These sequelae — chronic pelvic pain, infertility, and ectopic pregnancy — account for much of the morbidity, suffering, and cost of PID [2]. One group estimated that a cohort of 100,000 females acquiring PID between 20 and 24 years of age would go on to have 18,600 cases of chronic pelvic pain; 16,800 cases of infertility; and 8550 ectopic pregnancies [3].

Long-term complications of PID will be reviewed here; other issues related to this disorder are discussed separately:

(See "Pelvic inflammatory disease: Pathogenesis, microbiology, and risk factors".)

(See "Pelvic inflammatory disease: Clinical manifestations and diagnosis".)

(See "Pelvic inflammatory disease: Treatment".)

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Literature review current through: Nov 2017. | This topic last updated: Oct 13, 2016.
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