Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)

Consider PID when chlamydia is diagnosed in a patient with female reproductive organs. 

About PID

  • Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is a clinical condition involving inflammation of one or more organs of the female upper genital tract (endometrium, fallopian tubes, ovaries, pelvic peritoneum) that generally occurs as an acute infection of less than 30 days duration.
  • Clinical presentation varies widely in severity and symptoms, although patients commonly present with recent onset lower abdominal pain or dyspareunia. 
  • PID sequalae include tubal infertility, ectopic pregnancy and chronic pelvic pain.
  • Treatment should be initated promptly to prevent sequalae. 
  • Chlamydia is the most commonly detected STI with PID.1 An estimated 15% of new chlamydia infections will progress to symptomatic PID if untreated.2 
  • Other STIs implicated include gonorrhoea and M. genitalium. In up to 70% of cases no organism is identified.
  • Many people with PID will also have bacterial vaginosis. 


  • PID is diagnosed clinically.
  • Clinicians should have a low threshold for diagnosing PID in sexually active people <30 years presenting with recent onset pelvic or lower abdominal pain where no other cause is identified, and people diagnosed with an STI.
  • It is essential to exclude life-threatening causes of acute pelvic and abdominal pain  such as ectopic pregnancy or appendicitis. 
  • Clinicians should ask about new onset lower abdominal pain and/or dyspareunia in any patient with female reproductive organs attending for chlamydia or gonorrhoea treatment. 

For help diagnosing PID, see:


  • Antibiotic treatment should be initiated at the time a clinical diagnosis of PID is made and without waiting for STI test results.
  • See the Australian STI Management Guidelines for recommended antibiotic regimens and other management considerations. 
  • A rapid response to treatment confirms a diagnosis of PID.
  • Current sexual partners should be treated to cover chlamydia (and gonorrhoea if likely) irrespective of test results.3 

Patient resources for PID

For a patient factsheet about PID, click below

PID Factsheet

For all patient resources, click below

Patient resources

General Practice resources for PID

Need more help?

Contact your local Family Planning organisation or specialist sexual health clinic for further support. 

You can view an Australian Doctor article 'How to treat PID' and earn CPD points by taking the quiz. You will need to register (requires an AHPRA number) and logon to or, if you are already registered/logged on,go to 

For General Practice resources, click below

General Practice Resources

For our workflow resources click here



Key guidelines for chlamydia case management

For PID diagnosis, treatment and management

Australian STI Management Guidelines 

For guidance on acute abdominal pain in women, including differential diagnosis, speculum and bimanual examinations, and a PID flowchart

NSW Health STI Programs Unit (STIPU) Acute Abdominal Pain in Women

For guidance on contact tracing with PID

Australasian Contact Tracing Guidelines


1. Goller JL, De Livera AM, Fairley CK, et al. Characteristics of pelvic inflammatory disease where no sexually transmitted infection is identified: a cross-sectional analysis of routinely collected sexual health clinic data. Sex Transm Infect. 2017;93(1):68. Available from:

2. Price M J, Ades A, Soldan K, et al. The natural history of Chlamydia trachomatis infection in women: a multi parameter evidence synthesis. Health Technol Assess. 2016;20(22). Available from:

3. Australasian Society for HIV Viral Hepatitis and Sexual Health Medicine. Australasian Contact Tracing Guidelines 2016 [updated 2020]. Available:  

MoCCA is funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council (APP1150014) and is a collaboration between the University of Melbourne and our project investigators and partner organisations in Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland. Click here for a list of our collaborators.

The information on this website was last updated in June 2024. 

We acknowledge and pay respect to the Traditional Owners of the lands upon which this research is being conducted.