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BMJ Clin Evid. 2013 Dec 11;2013. pii: 1606.

Pelvic inflammatory disease.

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Whittall Street Clinic, Birmingham, UK.



Pelvic inflammatory disease is caused by infection of the upper female genital tract and is often asymptomatic. Pelvic inflammatory disease is the most common gynaecological reason for admission to hospital in the US, and is diagnosed in approximately 1% of women aged 16 to 45 years consulting their GP in England and Wales.


We conducted a systematic review and aimed to answer the following clinical questions: How do different antimicrobial regimens compare when treating women with confirmed pelvic inflammatory disease? What are the effects of routine antibiotic prophylaxis to prevent pelvic inflammatory disease before intrauterine contraceptive device (IUD) insertion? We searched: Medline, Embase, The Cochrane Library, and other important databases up to September 2013 (Clinical Evidence reviews are updated periodically; please check our website for the most up to date version of this review). We included harms alerts from relevant organisations such as the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the European Medicines Agency (EMA), and the UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).


We found 13 RCTs or systematic reviews of RCTs that met our inclusion criteria. We performed a GRADE evaluation of the quality of evidence for interventions.


In this systematic review, we present information relating to the effectiveness and safety of the following interventions: antibiotics (oral, parenteral, different durations, different regimens) and routine antibiotic prophylaxis (before intrauterine device insertion in women at high risk or low risk).

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