Scenario 2: Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)

A 20-year-old female college student presents to the Student Health Clinic with a chief complaint of abdominal pain, foul smelling vaginal discharge, and fever and chills for the past 4 days. She denies nausea, vomiting, or difficulties with defecation. Last bowel movement this morning and was normal for her. Nothing has helped with the pain despite taking ibuprofen 200 mg orally several times a day. She describes the pain as sharp and localizes the pain to her lower abdomen. Past medical history noncontributory. GYN/Social history + for having had unprotected sex while at a fraternity party. Physical exam: thin, Ill appearing anxious looking white female who is moving around on the exam table and unable to find a comfortable position. Temperature 101.6F orally, pulse 120, respirations 22 and regular. Review of systems negative except for chief complaint. Focused assessment of abdomen demonstrated moderate pain to palpation left and right lower quadrants. Upper quadrants soft and non-tender. Bowel sounds diminished in bilateral lower quadrants. Pelvic exam demonstrated + adnexal tenderness, + cervical motion tenderness and copious amounts of greenish thick secretions. The APRN diagnoses the patient as having pelvic inflammatory disease (PID).


What is the pathophysiology of PID?