Today, over a century after the first report on the links between sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), adnexitis, and infertility in women, Noeggerath's finding has become a serious public health problem. The past decade's epidemic of STDs2 has been accompanied by an epidemic of pelvic inflammatory disease (PID).3 Trailing after the STD-PID epidemic have been epidemics of sequelae, such as infertility, chronic pain, and ectopic pregnancy.3 These threats to the fecundity of millions of young women can and must be met.
This theme issue of The Journal presents modern thinking on PID and its sequelae, as well as research challenges for the future.
Pelvic inflammatory disease as a major public health problem is illustrated by Aral and coauthors,4 who report that one of 10 American women suffers from PID during their reproductive years. As calculated by Washington and Katz,5 each year, 1 million US women seek