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Risk factors

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

Authoring team

Risk factors related to sexual behaviour include:

  • age - peak incidence in 15 - 24 year old age group
  • untreated male partner
  • recent change of male partner – within previous 3 months
  • sexual activity: - PID is rare among nuns and lesbians - women with multiple partners show a five fold increased risk
  • previous PID - 25% risk of recurrence
  • past history of STD – in patient or partner

Recent instrumentation of the uterus or interruption of the cervical barrier

  • intrauterine contraceptive device - two to nine fold increase in risk, mostly during the first 6 weeks after insertion
  • surgical procedures: -
    • termination of pregnancy
    • dilatation and curettage
    • tubal surgery - removal of retained products
    • hysteroscopy - laparoscopy and dye
    • in vitro fertilisation and intrauterine insemination


  1. Curry A, Williams T, Penny ML. Pelvic Inflammatory Disease: Diagnosis, Management, and Prevention. Am Fam Physician. 2019 Sep 15;100(6):357-364.

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