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Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) can be scary because it appears suddenly and can be both painful and serious. You should be reassured that when treated promptly, most cases are completely resolved.

If you are in the process of waiting for test results or for your antibiotic treatment to start working, taking hot baths or using a heating pad on your abdomen may help relieve your pain. Make sure you get plenty of sleep and bedrest. Try to minimize the stress in your life. And eat healthy, wholesome foods while limiting the amount of sugar, coffee and alcohol you consume.

Preventing PID

If you have been diagnosed with PID, one of your concerns will likely be that it could recur. Some studies suggest that up to 25 percent of cases of PID recur. To prevent future PID, you should take all of the medication you are prescribed as directed. You should also ensure that any partner(s) you have had sexual contact with during the 60 days before your symptoms started are examined and treated. This is important even if your partners do not have any symptoms. Use a condom until both of you have completed your treatment and the doctor has determined that the infection is gone.

Here are some things you can do to help prevent PID:

  • Practise safer sex to avoid infection in the future.
    • Always use condoms to prevent transmitting the bacteria most associated with PID.
    • Use a different condom for each act of penetration.
    • Talk to your partner about sexually transmitted infections (STIs) before having a sexual relationship. Find out if your partner has or is at risk of having any sexually transmitted infections.
    • Get screened regularly for sexually transmitted infections. Suggest that your partner(s) get screened too.
  • Don't have vaginal intercourse right after anal intercourse, or wash carefully in between.
  • Change your tampons and pads frequently during your period.
  • Don't douche. It increases your risk of infection.
  • Don't smoke. Smoking appears to increase the risk of PID.
  • After an abortion or miscarriage, don't have intercourse until your bleeding has stopped, usually one to two weeks afterwards.
  • After giving birth, avoid intercourse until postpartum bleeding stops.
  • Have regular check-ups.

Resuming Sexual Activity

If you have PID, ask your doctor when it is safe for you to start having sex again. This will depend on how severe your symptoms are and what kind of treatment you are receiving.


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