The coincident diagnosis of pelvic inflammatory disease and pregnancy: are they compatible?

J Pediatr Adolesc Gynecol. 1996 Aug;9(3):129-32. doi: 10.1016/s1083-3188(96)70022-0.


Objectives: To determine the frequency of coincident diagnoses of pregnancy and pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) in adolescents seeking care at a large urban children's hospital.

Design: All inpatient medical records for the period from January 1, 1984 through December 31, 1993 were searched for dual diagnoses of pregnancy and PID (presumed secondary to endometritis, salpingitis, or both). During this period, there were 1205 patients admitted for PID, 67 of whom were also pregnant. Ten of these 67 admissions were eliminated from this study because of incomplete or missing records, errors in diagnosis, or lack of proper examinations. The charts of the remaining 57 subjects were reviewed for demographics, physical findings, and laboratory studies.

Outcome measures: For the purposes of this study, a diagnosis of suspected PID was defined as lower abdominal tenderness, cervical motion tenderness, and adnexal tenderness ("major criteria"), as well as either a positive cervical specimen for Neisseria gonorrhoeae or Chlamydia trachomatis or adnexal fullness ("minor criteria").

Results: The mean age of the 57 subjects was 16.8 years, and the mean gestational age was 6.7 weeks. Twenty-four (42.1%) of the subjects met the criteria for a concurrent diagnosis of PID and pregnancy; 13 had physical findings and a positive cervical specimen for either N. gonorrhoeae or C. trachomatis, and 11 subjects had the minor criteria of adnexal fullness. Twenty-six (45.6%) of the 57 subjects were primigravida, 35 (61.4%) had a history of a sexually transmitted disease, and 18 (31.6%) had been previously admitted to a hospital for PID.

Conclusion: This study found that PID and pregnancy can coexist in adolescents. Therefore, physicians who treat adolescents must consider the possibility of PID in pregnant adolescents presenting with abdominal pain.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Pelvic Inflammatory Disease* / diagnosis
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy in Adolescence*
  • Retrospective Studies