Getting pregnant with pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) can be challenging. However, women with the condition should not lose hope. With certain infertility treatments, women with PID can have the same chances of getting pregnant as those without the condition.
About 1 in 8 women with PID struggle to get pregnant. PID is an infection of the female reproductive organs and can be a complication of some sexually transmitted diseases (STD). Women who get PID treated early are less likely to have difficulty getting pregnant. The earlier the condition is caught, the easier PID is to treat.
There is no test for PID. However, women who have signs and symptoms of the condition should be evaluated by a healthcare provider. Some signs of the infection can include:
Pain in the lower abdomen
Bleeding between periods
Pain or bleeding during sex
Some of these symptoms can be subtle or can be misdiagnosed for something else. For this reason, women who are sexually active should get tested regularly for STDs and schedule annual well-woman exams. PID is often a complication of gonorrhea or chlamydia, and when these STDs are caught sooner, a woman has a higher chance of successful treatment.
Women with untreated PID can develop scar tissue that blocks the fallopian tubes. About 100,000 women start infertility treatments every year as a result of PID.
However, though getting pregnant can be more difficult for women who have had PID, having a baby is not impossible. Many women with the condition are still able to have a baby through fertility treatments such as in vitro fertilization (IVF). In fact, the success rates for IVF in women with PID are the same as that of the general population.
A woman’s chances of getting pregnant depend on the severity of the infection and how long the disease lasted without treatment. The best way to prevent PID is to reduce the risk of STD infection by using condoms. Women who are sexually active should get routine well-woman exams.