Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) Treatment and Care
How is pelvic inflammatory disease treated?
Several types of antibiotics can cure PID. Antibiotic treatment does not, however, reverse any scarring caused by the infection. For this reason, it is critical that a woman receive care immediately if she has pelvic pain or other symptoms of PID. Prompt antibiotic treatment can prevent severe damage to the reproductive organs. The longer a woman delays treatment for PID, the more likely she is to become infertile or to have a future ectopic pregnancy because of damage to the fallopian tubes.
PID is usually treated with antibiotics to provide empiric, broad spectrum coverage of likely pathogens. Recommended regimens can be found in the 2015 STD Treatment Guidelines. Health care providers should emphasize to their patients that although their symptoms may go away before the infection is cured, they should finish taking all of the prescribed medicine. Additionally, a woman’s sex partner(s) should be treated to decrease the risk of re-infection, even if the partner(s) has no symptoms. Although sex partners may have no symptoms, they may still be infected with the organisms that can cause PID.
In certain cases, clinicians may recommend hospitalization to treat PID. This decision should be based on the judgment of the health care provider and the use of suggested criteria found in the 2015 STD Treatment Guidelines. If a woman’s symptoms continue, or if an abscess does not resolve, surgery may be needed.
Treatment Guidelines and Updates
- 2015 STD Treatment Guidelines - Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) (June 4, 2015)
- Update to CDC’s Sexually Transmitted Diseases Treatment 2010 Guidelines: Oral Cephalosporins No Longer a Recommended Treatment for Gonococcal Infections - MMWR August 10, 2012
Resources for Clinicians
- Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) Clinical Training (November 4, 2014)
- Doxycycline and Tetracycline Shortage Update (March 1, 2013)
- Page last reviewed: September 13, 2010
- Page last updated: June 4, 2015
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