CausesBy Mayo Clinic staff
Unsafe sexual practices that increase your likelihood of acquiring a sexually transmitted infection (STI) — such as unprotected sex with one or more partners — increase your risk of pelvic inflammatory disease.
Some forms of contraception may affect your risk of developing pelvic inflammatory disease. A contraceptive intrauterine device (IUD) may increase your risk of PID, but a barrier method, such as a condom, reduces your risk. Use of the birth control pill alone offers no protection against acquiring STIs. But the pill may offer some protection against the development of PID by causing your body to create thicker cervical mucus, making it more difficult for bacteria to reach your upper genital tract.
Bacteria may also enter your reproductive tract as a result of an IUD insertion, childbirth, miscarriage, abortion or endometrial biopsy — a procedure to remove a small piece of tissue from your uterine lining for laboratory analysis.
- Pelvic inflammatory disease fact sheet. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/std/PID/STDFact-PID.htm. Accessed April 21, 2011.
- Hemsell DL. Gynecologic infections. In: Schorge JO, et al. Williams Gynecology. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2008. http://www.accessmedicine.com/content.aspx?aID=3150553. Accessed April 21, 2011.
- Pelvic inflammatory disease. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. http://www.acog.org/publications/patient_education/bp077.cfm. Accessed April 21, 2011.
- Pelvic inflammatory disease: Frequently asked questions. The National Women's Health Information Center. http://womenshealth.gov/faq/pelvic-inflammatory-disease.cfm. Accessed April 21, 2011.
- Trigg BG, et al. Sexually transmitted infections and pelvic inflammatory disease in women. Medical Clinics of North America. 2008;92:1083.
- Livengood CH, et al. Clinical features and diagnosis of pelvic inflammatory disease. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed April 21, 2011.
- Livengood CH. Pathogenesis of and risk factors for pelvic inflammatory disease. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed April 21, 2011.