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Can You Die From Pelvic Infection & How Do You Stop It From Spreading?

Pelvic infections have the potential to spread beyond the reproductive organs resulting in deadly complications, more than 200,000 people are hospitalized and 150 die each year in the United States.1,2

There is no guaranteed way to prevent pelvic infections but the early treatment of sexually transmitted infections can keep you away from getting it.3

The pelvic infection spreads through sexual contact, use of condoms prevents the spread of many sexually transmitted diseases during vaginal and oral sex.4

Can You Die From Pelvic Infection?

Can You Die From Pelvic Infection?

Pelvic infection is generally triggered by 2 sexually transmitted inflammations: chlamydia or gonorrhea. Most cases of pelvic infections can be cured through antibiotic therapy however 40 percent of women who acquire these infections are not treated properly and end up with complications.

Pelvic infections can occur after an abortion or miscarriage or any other procedure that opens up the cervix or vagina providing the gateway for the bacterial infections to pass through the uterus, the ovaries, and the two fallopian tubes.

The infections that are not adequately treated may cause serious and potentially deadly complications that are sometimes life-threatening. They spread to other parts of the reproductive tract increasing the risk of ectopic pregnancy in which a fertilized egg attaches somewhere outside the uterus.1

The most common complication is a rupture with internal bleeding, foul-smelling drainage from the site which, if not treated, can be fatal.

People with pelvic infection can experience chronic pelvic pain that leads to impaired quality of life. About 250,000 women in the United States get affected by this condition each year. A study shows that about 150 die due to chronic complications of pelvic pain.

The untreated pelvic infection might cause scar tissue that can cause permanent damage to the reproductive organs. Aside from the instant risks, the long-term effects of pelvic infection can be devastating.2

How Do You Stop Pelvic Infection From Spreading?

To reduce the risk of pelvic infection and to stop it from spreading, first of all, you need to understand how does it spread.

  • Unsafe sex with partners who are having chlamydia or gonorrhea
  • The patient has a history of pelvic infection
  • Sexual intercourse
  • Medical procedures such as abortion, dilation, or IUD insertion.
  • Improper usage of tampons and contraceptive sponges.3

But how can you prevent the spread and avoid the risk of getting a sexually transmitted infection?

Practice Safe Sex – Using condoms every time you have sex can limit the risk of infections and help prevent the spread of many STIs during vaginal, anal, and oral sex.

Understanding Your Sexual Health Status– If you are changing your sexual partner, getting regularly tested to check for infections. Early diagnosis and treatment reduce the chances of spreading the infection to your partner.

Avoid Frequent Douching– Douching disturbs the bacterial balance in the vagina, so avoiding this process can prevent the spread.4

Pelvic infection is a chronic inflammation of the female reproductive organs that occurs when an infection spreads from the vagina to other parts of the reproductive tract. Most cases of pelvic infection are developed during sexual intercourse with a partner who already has an infection.

Sometimes the infections don’t produce any signs and symptoms but some cases show classic symptoms of vaginal discharge, abnormal menstrual bleeding, and acute pelvic pain. It may be so mild that you barely identify it, or so sturdy that you may not even be able to stand.


  1. “Pelvic Inflammatory Disease: Don’t Let It Sneak Up on You.” Contemporary OB/GYN, Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) | Signs of PID Infection, www.contemporaryobgyn.net/view/pelvic-inflammatory-disease-dont-let-it-sneak-you
  2. “Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID): Signs of PID Infection.” Planned Parenthood, Overview of Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) Understanding Symptoms, Causes, and Treatments, www.plannedparenthood.org/learn/health-and-wellness/pelvic-inflammatory-disease-pid
  3. “Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID).” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 23 Apr. 2020, www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/pelvic-inflammatory-disease/symptoms-causes/syc-20352594
  4. “Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID).” How do you stop it from spreading?  Better Health Channel, www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/pelvic-inflammatory-disease-pid

Also Read:

Sheetal DeCaria, M.D.
Sheetal DeCaria, M.D.
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Sheetal DeCaria, M.D. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:August 25, 2022

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