STD (mainly untreated Chlamydia or gonorrhea) is the main preventable cause of Pelvic inflammatory disease. Women can protect themselves from Pelvic inflammatory disease by taking action to prevent STDs or by getting early treatment if they do get an STD.

  1. The surest way to avoid transmission of STDs is to abstain from sexual intercourse, or to be in a long-term mutually monogamous relationship with a partner who has been tested and is known to be uninfected.
  2. Latex male condoms, when used consistently and correctly, can reduce the risk of transmission of chlamydia and gonorrhea.
  3. CDC recommends yearly chlamydia testing of all sexually active women age 25 or younger and of older women with risk factors for chlamydial infections (those who have a new sex partner or multiple sex partners). An appropriate sexual risk assessment by a health care provider should always be conducted and may indicate more frequent screening for some women.
  4. Any genital symptoms such as an unusual sore, discharge with odor, burning during urination, or bleeding between menstrual cycles could mean an STD infection. If a woman has any of these symptoms, she should stop having sex and consult a health care provider immediately. Treating STDs early can prevent Pelvic inflammatory disease. Women who are told they have an STD and are treated for it should notify all of their recent sex partners so they can see a health care provider and be evaluated for STDs. Sexual activity should not resume until all sex partners have been examined and, if necessary, treated.
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