Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), one of the most common infections in nonpregnant women of reproductive age, remains an important public health problem. It is associated with major long-term sequelae, including tubal factor infertility, ectopic pregnancy, and chronic pelvic pain. In addition, treatment of acute PID and its complications incurs substantial health care costs. Prevention of these long-term sequelae is dependent upon development of treatment strategies based on knowledge of the microbiologic etiology of acute PID. It is well accepted that acute PID is a polymicrobic infection. The sexually transmitted organisms, Neisseria gonorrhoeae and Chlamydia trachomatis, are present in many cases, and microorganisms comprising the endogenous vaginal and cervical flora are frequently associated with PID. This includes anaerobic and facultative bacteria, similar to those associated with bacterial vaginosis. Genital tract mycoplasmas, most importantly Mycoplasma genitalium, have recently also been implicated as a cause of acute PID. As a consequence, treatment regimens for acute PID should provide broad spectrum coverage that is effective against these microorganisms.