pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)

Acute inflammation of the pelvic cavity in women, caused by bacterial infection (usually gonorrhea or chlamydia) of the reproductive system. Usually a sexually transmitted disease, it occurs mainly in sexually active women under age 25, more often in those using intrauterine devices (IUDs). PID can resemble gonorrhea, with abdominal and lower pelvic pain, chills, nausea, fever, and thick, foul-smelling vaginal discharge. Fallopian tube scarring can cause infertility and ectopic pregnancy. Treatment requires antibiotics, bed rest, pain medication, and sexual abstinence until the infection disappears. Sexual partners must also be treated to prevent reinfection.

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