Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) and its Role in Vulva Pain

“Women with PID may present with lower abdominal or pelvic pain, vaginal discharge, dyspareunia, &/or abnormal vaginal bleeding” [1]

As a Vulva Doctor will tell you: “Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is an inflammation of the upper genital tract due to an infection in women. The disease affects the uterus, fallopian tubes, &/or the ovaries. It is an ascending infection, spreading from the lower genital tract. Most cases of PID are related to a sexually transmitted infection. The diagnosis of PID is primarily clinical” [1]. To that end, booking an appointment with a Vulva Consultant is essential in order to establish whether there is lower abdominal pain, pelvic pain, or tenderness in the genital tract [1].

Did You Know?

Your Vulva Doctor will clarify the onset & character of the pain, while also exploring possible alternative diagnoses” [1]
When you have an evaluation with a Pain Specialist in order to determine whether you have PID, right from the get-go, they will consider, and rule out, other causes of pain (including ectopic pregnancy).

Short-Term PID Complications

Short-term pelvic inflammatory disease complications include a pelvic, or tubo-ovarian abscess (an intricate infectious mass of the adnexa, which refers to infection in the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and ligaments, which hold the reproductive organs in place) [1].

Long-Term PID Complications

Long-term pelvic inflammatory disease comprises: chronic pelvic pain, infertility, and ectopic pregnancy. “Early diagnosis and treatment can potentially prevent complications” [1], so book an on-line or in-person consultation with a Vulva Doctor as soon as possible. Then, after they have reviewed your medical history, asked you pertinent questions, and arranged any necessary tests and scans, they will give you an accurate diagnosis, and devise a Personalised Treatment Plan, which you can get started on right away. Unfortunately, generally speaking, GPs (General Practitioners), do not have the necessary extensive years of training and specialised medical practice and expertise, that can determine an accurate diagnosis.

What Are the Risk Factors Pertaining to PID?

The most frequent risk factors seen by Vulva Specialists, include:

• Having intercourse with multiple partners
• Having a history of pelvic inflammatory disease
• Age
• Tubal ligation (when the fallopian tubes are tied, cut or blocked, to permanently prevent pregnancy)
• An intrauterine device (IUD) implantation (a small T-shaped plastic and copper device which is inserted into a woman’s womb (uterus) [2]


[1]. Jennings LK, Krywko DM. Pelvic Inflammatory Disease. [Updated 2023 Mar 13]. StatPearls Publishing; 2023.