Recurrent Pelvic Infections
Recurrent pelvic infections may be caused by:
- Having a sex partner who is not treated, so
- Having a new sex partner, or more than one sex
partner, who spreads an infection.
- Receiving medical treatment that does not cure the infection.
Typically, this happens when the wrong medicine is prescribed or not all of
the medicine is taken.
Some women who have been infected with
chlamydia develop a "hypersensitive response" when
they are exposed to the bacteria again. A second infection can cause more
irritation and damage to the pelvic organs that is worse than the first
The risk of
infertility increases with each episode of
pelvic inflammatory disease (PID).
- After a single episode, the risk is about 8%
(compared with 1% of women who have never had PID).1
- With each additional episode of PID, the risk of
infertility doubles or triples.2
Paavonen J, et al. (2008). Pelvic inflammatory disease. In KK Holmes et al., eds., Sexually Transmitted Diseases, 4th ed., pp. 1017–1050. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Paavonen J, Schwartz D (2003). Pelvic inflammatory
disease. In SA Morse et al., eds., Atlas of Sexually Transmitted Diseases and AIDS, 3rd ed., pp. 141–157. Edinburgh:
|Primary Medical Reviewer||Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine|
|Specialist Medical Reviewer||Kirtly Jones, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology|
|Last Revised||November 23, 2010|