Pelvic Inflammatory Disease

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) that occurs because of an infection in the female reproductive organs. The leading cause of this infection is sexually transmitted bacteria. It spreads from the vagina to the uterus, fallopian tube, or ovaries.

The symptoms of this disease include the stomach, lower abdominal pain, and vaginal discharge. Women might not realize until she is having a problem getting pregnant or developing severe pelvic pain. Its immediate treatment helps avoid complications like infertility.

Symptoms of the Pelvic Inflammatory Disease?

Sometimes the symptoms of the pelvic inflammatory disease can be unnoticeable and mild. Women even do recognize that they have this disease. But when signs and symptoms are present in women, they mainly include the following: –

Symptoms of the Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
  • Pain in lower abdomen and pelvis
  • Heavy vaginal discharge, usually yellow or green, with an unpleasant odor.
  • Unusual bleeding, especially during or after sex
  • Pain during intercourse
  • Fever with chills
  • Vomiting and nausea
  • Irregular periods
  • Frequent or painful urination

Causes of Pelvic Inflammatory Disease

Varied types of bacteria can cause pelvic inflammatory disease. The most common one is gonorrhea or chlamydia. This disease mainly occurs when these bacteria enter the reproductive tract during unprotected sex. They pass from the vagina, through the cervix, into the uterus, fallopian tube, ovaries, and pelvis.

The other causes of PID are

  • Bacteria entering the reproductive tract during menstruation and after childbirth, miscarriage, or abortion.
  • It can also enter the reproductive tract during the insertion of an intrauterine device (IUD) which is a form of long-term birth control or any other medical procedure that involves inserting instruments into the uterus.
  • The risk is very high in the first few weeks after insertion.
  • But most of the time, this type of infection can be prevented with STI testing at the IUD placement.

Risk of Pelvic Inflammatory Disease

The risk of pelvic inflammatory disease increases if you have the following: –

  • Having gonorrhea, chlamydia, or other sexually transmitted infection (STIs)
  • Have multiple sexual partners or have a partner who has had numerous partners.
  • Holding a history of pelvic inflammatory disease or a sexually transmitted infection
  • Having sex without a condom
  • Are sexually active and younger than 25.
  • Having intrauterine device inserted recently.

How is Pelvic Inflammatory Disease Diagnosed?

Visit your doctor immediately if you have any of the symptoms. The sooner you get treated, your chances of recovery increase. Usually, the doctor will ask about your medical history, sexual activity, and symptoms and will also perform the following test to diagnose PID: –

  • Pelvic exam to inspect your reproductive organs and look for signs and symptoms of any infection.
  • Urine tests to check the signs of blood, cancer, or other diseases.
  • Vaginal culture to check for any bacteria or infection.
  • Ultrasound to get a clear image of the reproductive organ.

In some cases, your doctor may also recommend the following:

  • Endometrial Biopsy: – This is done to remove and test a small tissue sample from the endometrium, the lining of the uterus.
  • Laparoscopy: – This is a minor surgery in which a small incision examines the reproductive organs.
  • Culdocentesis: – This is an infrequent procedure. In this, a needle is inserted behind the vagina to remove the fluid for examination.

How is PID treated?

Your doctor will prescribe the antibiotics because they may not know the type of bacteria that cause infection. Take all your medicines on time even if you feel good. Your symptoms may improve or disappear within a few days of starting treatment. But should not stop because it may cause infection to return.

Some people still have symptoms despite taking antibiotics; in that case, you need to visit the hospital to take medicine through an IV. IV medication is also required if you are pregnant, have a severe infection and feel very sick, or have a collection of pus in your fallopian tube or ovary.

Complications of PID?

If one gets pelvic inflammatory disease often or remains untreated, it might cause scarring on the fallopian tube. And this scaring can lead to complications which include the following: –

Chronic pelvic pain

It can last for months or years. Scars in the fallopian tube and other pelvic organs might cause pain during ovulation and intercourse.

Ectopic pregnancy

One of the leading causes of ectopic pregnancy is a pelvic inflammatory disease. The scar tissue in PID stops the fertilized egg from reaching the uterus for implantation. And thus, pregnancy occurs outside the uterus, which is called an ectopic pregnancy. It requires immediate medical attention as it causes life-threatening complications.

Infertility

PID causes the risk of infertility. The more times you have had PID, the greater your chance of infertility.

Tubo-ovarian abscess

This is a collection of pus that affect the fallopian tubes and ovaries. It can also develop in the uterus or other pelvic organs. If left untreated, it can create a life-threatening infection.

How to Prevent Pelvic Inflammatory Disease?

One can lower the risk of pelvic inflammatory disease by: –

  • Practice safe sex
  • Get tested for sexually transmitted infections
  • Avoiding douches
  • After a few days of starting the medication, please return to your doctor to ensure the treatment works.
  • Take all medicines on time and as directed.

When should one visit a doctor?

One should seek immediate medical care if any of the following symptoms persist: –

  • Intense lower belly pain
  • Severe vomiting
  • Having High fever
  • Green, yellow, or white vaginal discharge
  • Vaginal itching, burning, irritation
  • Vaginal bleeding or spotting that is not due to your menstrual period
  • Vaginal discharge that has a strong or foul odour
  • Fainting

Conclusion

It is widespread among women experiencing the pelvic inflammatory disease. The chances of recovering are high in women getting immediate treatment. So, if any of the symptoms occur, visit your doctor immediately and get it cured.

But if left untreated, it can cause complications like fertility issues, ectopic pregnancy, pelvic pain, and even cause life-threatening complications.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

It is approx. 14 days course in which two antibiotics are given which can effectively cure PID. However, the damage caused to reproductive organs by this disease cannot be fixed by this treatment.

It’s not that you will not get PID again once you are affected. Your chances of getting PID are high if you do not take certain precautions.

Yes, sexual activity can resume safely after completing two weeks of antibiotics. This will help in preventing reinfection.

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