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Pelvic inflammatory disease: a common cause of morbidity

Pelvic inflammatory disease is often asymptomatic and requires prompt treatment, explains Suneeta Kochhar

Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) refers to infection and inflammation of the upper genital tract. It may involve the endometrium, fallopian tubes and/or ovaries, as well as the surrounding peritoneum.

Most cases of PID result from a vaginal or cervical sexually transmitted infection (STI); this may be asymptomatic. Subsequently there is direct ascent of micro-organisms from the vagina or cervix to the upper genital tract.1,2

Fitz-Hugh-Curtis syndrome can result in PID, where infection spreads along the upper peritoneum to the liver capsule, causing perihepatic 'violin string' adhesions.

PID is a common cause of morbidity and accounts for one in 60 GP consultations by women under 45 years of age.1

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