Unsafe sexual practices that increase your likelihood of acquiring a sexually transmitted infection (STI) — such as unprotected sex with one or more partners — increase your risk of pelvic inflammatory disease.

Some forms of contraception may affect your risk of developing pelvic inflammatory disease. A contraceptive intrauterine device (IUD) may increase your risk of PID, but a barrier method, such as a condom, reduces your risk. Use of the birth control pill alone offers no protection against acquiring STIs. But the pill may offer some protection against the development of PID by causing your body to create thicker cervical mucus, making it more difficult for bacteria to reach your upper genital tract.

Bacteria may also enter your reproductive tract as a result of an IUD insertion, childbirth, miscarriage, abortion or endometrial biopsy — a procedure to remove a small piece of tissue from your uterine lining for laboratory analysis.

May. 24, 2011