Although scientists have learned much about the biology of the microbes (germs) that cause PID and the ways in which they damage the body, they still have much to learn. Scientists supported by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) are studying the effects of antibiotics, hormones, and substances that boost the immune system. These studies may lead to insights about how to prevent infertility and other complications of PID.
Scientists are developing rapid, inexpensive, and easy-to-use diagnostic tests to detect chlamydia and gonorrhea. A study conducted by NIAID-funded researchers demonstrated that screening and treating women who did not know they had chlamydia reduced cases of PID by more than half.
Researchers also are developing topical microbicides and vaccines that prevent gonorrhea and chlamydia. Others are investigating whether additional microbes such as Mycoplasma genitalium cause PID and are developing diagnostic tests and treatments for this infection. Meanwhile, researchers continue to search for better ways to detect PID, particularly in women who have no symptoms.