Sexually Transmitted Infections Part 2: Discharge Syndromes and Pelvic Inflammatory Disease

Pediatr Rev. 2020 Oct;41(10):522-537. doi: 10.1542/pir.2019-0078.

Abstract

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) disproportionately affect young people, with more than half of the infections occurring in youth aged 15 to 25 years. (1)(2) This review, the second in a 2-part series on STIs, focuses on infections that may cause abnormal vaginal or penile discharge, including trichomonas, chlamydia, gonorrhea, and pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). Most infected persons, however, are asymptomatic. Nucleic acid amplification tests are the most sensitive and specific for the detection of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and trichomoniasis, and they can be performed on provider- or patient-collected swabs. Providers should have a low threshold for diagnosing and treating PID because untreated PID can have serious long-term complications for young women. Indications for hospitalization for PID include the presence of a tubo-ovarian abscess, severe illness with systemic symptoms, pregnancy, human immunodeficiency virus infection, and failure to respond to outpatient oral treatment (within 48-72 hours) or inability to tolerate the oral treatment.