Pelvic inflammatory disease and its sequelae in adolescents

A. Eugene Washington, Richard L Sweet, Mary Ann B Shafer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations


Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) is the most common serious complication of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Each year over one million women in the United States experience an episode of PID, with approximately 16-20% of cases occurring in teenagers. Acute PID increases a woman's risk for recurrent PID, chronic pelvic pain, infertility, and ectopic pregnancy. Recent reports indicating that PID rates are rising and are highest among adolescent females aged 15-19 underscore the need to remain current on the clinical as well as the epidemiologic aspects of PID. We present such an update in this article. Trends in incidence and key risk factors are discussed; besides adolescence itself and STD, other important categories of risk factors include sexual activity, contraceptive method, and previous episode(s) of PID. The polymicrobial nature of PID is discussed along with an analysis of the role of specific organisms, such as Chlamydia trachomatis, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, anaerobic and aerobic bacteria, and mycoplasmas in PID. Early diagnosis and the institution of appropriate treatment regimens are essential to the prevention of PID's devastating sequelae. Clinicians must maintain a high index of suspicion for the wide range of clinical presentations associated with PID and be prepared to provide effective management, including proper evaluation and prompt treatment of sexual partners.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)298-310
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Adolescent Health Care
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1985


  • Chlamydia trachomatis
  • Contraception
  • Ectopic pregnancy
  • Infertility
  • Neisseria gonorrhoeae
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease
  • Sexual behavior

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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