Objective: To examine patterns of morbidity following hospitalisation for pelvic inflammatory disease (PID).
Design: Cohort study using Oxford Record Linkage Study data.
Setting: Oxfordshire and West Berkshire.
Subjects: One thousand three hundred fifty-five women discharged from hospital for the first time with a diagnosis of pelvic inflammatory disease during the interval 1970-1985, together with 10,507 control women discharged with various other diagnoses.
Main outcome measures: Hospital admission for abdominal pain, gynaecological pain, endometriosis, hysterectomy, and ectopic pregnancy. Data were not available in this analysis on pregnancies other than ectopic pregnancy.
Results: In comparison with the controls, women with a diagnosis of PID were ten times more likely to be admitted for abdominal pain, four times more likely to be admitted for gynaecological pain, six times more likely to be admitted for endometriosis, eight times more likely to be admitted for hysterectomy and ten times more likely to be admitted for ectopic pregnancy.
Conclusions: Serious sequelae of PID are common, even in a study unable to examine the effects of the disease on fertility. The data on hysterectomy are particularly interesting; the operation in women with pelvic inflammatory disease is most often a consequence of the inflammatory process itself.