Infertility and pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)

Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) increases your risk of infertility, usually from scarring in and around the fallopian tubes. Scarring, a result of inflammation, can block or twist the tubes so that neither sperm nor eggs can get through the tubes.

  • Tubal infertility develops in about 8% of women who have had PID once (compared with 1% of women who have never had PID).1
  • Infertility risk doubles or triples with each additional episode of PID.2

Most women who have blocked fallopian tubes do not remember ever having symptoms of PID. The evaluation and tests to diagnose infertility may show signs of a previous PID infection.


  1. Golden MR (2003). Vaginitis and sexually transmitted diseases. In DC Dale, DD Federman, eds., Scientific American Medicine, vol. 2, part 7, chap. 22. New York: WebMD.
  2. Paavonen J, Schwartz D (2003). Pelvic inflammatory disease. In SA Morse et al., eds., Atlas of Sexually Transmitted Diseases and AIDS, 3rd ed., pp. 141–157. Edinburgh: Mosby.

Last Updated: June 3, 2009

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