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Signs and Symptoms

A woman with PID may have no symptoms, mild discomfort, chronic and/or progressive pain, or she may be severely and acutely ill. Many of the signs and symptoms of PID are nonspecific and may be seen with a variety of other conditions that affect the pelvic area. Symptoms may include:

  • vaginal or cervical discharge with an unpleasant smell
  • pain in the lower abdomen – this is the most common symptom
  • abdominal tenderness
  • intermittent fever
  • painful sexual intercourse and bleeding with sex
  • painful urination
  • irregular menstrual bleeding
  • nausea

Complications of PID include infertility, chronic pelvic pain, lesions on an ovary or fallopian tube, and an ectopic pregnancy. Even a small amount of scarring in the fallopian tubes can impair fertility. It can prevent an egg from becoming fertilized or prevent a fertilized egg from reaching the uterus. If a fertilized egg begins to develop in a fallopian tube, it can rupture the tube, causing a life-threatening emergency with internal bleeding and severe pain.

Last Review Date: April 10, 2020