To reduce your risk of pelvic inflammatory disease:
May 01, 2014
- Practice safe sex. Use condoms every time you have sex, limit your number of partners and ask about a potential partner's sexual history.
Talk to your doctor about contraception. Some forms of contraception may affect your risk of developing pelvic inflammatory disease. A contraceptive intrauterine device (IUD) may increase your risk of PID temporarily for the first few weeks after insertion, but a barrier method, such as a condom, reduces your risk.
Use of a 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 uterus, fallopian tubes or ovaries. It's still important to use a condom every time you have sex, however.
- Get tested. If you're at risk of an STI, such as chlamydia, make an appointment with your doctor for testing. Set up a regular screening schedule with your doctor, if you need to. Early treatment of an STI gives you the best chance of avoiding pelvic inflammatory disease.
- Request that your partner be tested. If you have pelvic inflammatory disease or an STI, advise your partner to be tested and, if necessary, treated. This can prevent the spread of STIs and possible recurrence of PID.
- Don't douche. Douching upsets the balance of bacteria in your vagina.
- Pay attention to hygiene habits. Wipe from front to back after urinating or having a bowel movement to avoid introducing bacteria from your colon into the vagina.
- Mitchell C, et al. Pelvic inflammatory disease — Current concepts in pathogenesis, diagnosis and treatment. Infectious Disease Clinics of North America. 2013;27:793.
- Pelvic inflammatory disease fact sheet. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/std/pid/stdfact-pid.htm. Accessed Feb. 6, 2014.
- Ferri FF. Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2014: 5 Books in 1. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2014. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Feb. 6, 2014.
- Klausner JD, et al., Klausner J.D., Hook E.W., III eds. Current Diagnosis & Treatment of Sexually Transmitted Diseases. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2007. http:// http://accessmedicine.mhmedical.com/book.aspx?bookid=369. Accessed Feb. 7, 2014.
- Trent M. Pelvic inflammatory disease. Pediatrics in Review. 2013;34:163.
- Livengood CH, et al. Clinical features and diagnosis of pelvic inflammatory disease. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Feb. 7, 2014.