What is pelvic inflammatory disease
July 11, 2022
A pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is a female reproductive system infection. The uterus, ovaries, fallopian tubes, and cervix are among them. It is typically brought on by an STI, such as Chlamydia or Gonorrhoea. However, common vaginal bacteria can occasionally bring on PID.
If PID is not effectively managed, it can cause lower abdominal pain and impair your ability to become pregnant. PID is a condition that affects over 770,000 women in the US every year.
Risk factors for PID
Having gonorrhea, chlamydia, or a history of an STI increases your chance of developing pelvic inflammatory disease. PID, however, can occur even if you have never had an STI.
Additionally, the following things may make you more susceptible to PID:
- Having intercourse before the age of 25
- Several sexual partners
- Not using a condom while having intercourse
- Having just had an intrauterine device (IUD) implanted
- Pelvic inflammatory illnesses in the past
Symptoms of PID
Some female patients with pelvic inflammatory disease don’t exhibit any symptoms. However, if a woman does have symptoms, these can include:
- Lower abdominal ache (the most common symptom)
- The upper abdomen aches
- Painful intercourse
- Unpleasant urination
- Irregular bleeding
- More frequent or unpleasant vaginal discharge
Pain from the pelvic inflammatory disease may be minimal to intense. However, some women have extreme discomfort and symptoms, including:
- A severe abdominal ache
- High fever (more than 101°F)
Getting an STI treated as soon as possible helps prevent PID. STI symptoms overlap with PID symptoms quite a bit. They include painful urination, excessive vaginal discharge, and bleeding between periods.
Diagnosis of PID
Your doctor will likely perform a pelvic exam on you when you visit. In addition, your uterus, cervix, and other nearby organs will be examined for tenderness (ovaries and fallopian tubes).
- Look for any abnormally coloured fluid in the cervix or vagina.
- Inquire about your symptoms, medical history, and sexual history.
- Check your temperature.
Your doctor may use a microscope to examine fluid samples and send gonorrhea and chlamydia lab cultures.
They could also suggest the following tests:
- A blood test for sexually transmitted infections
- Using an ultrasound to create an image of your internal organs
Your doctor will discuss your treatment options with you if the examination or your tests indicate a strong suspicion that you have PID.
Complication of PID
If the pelvic inflammatory disease is left untreated, the reproductive system may develop abscesses, which are pockets of infected fluid. The reproductive organs may suffer long-lasting harm as a result of this.
These complications might result from this damage:
- Ectopic pregnancy: PID is a significant cause of tubal (ectopic) pregnancy. Untreated PID can result in the fallopian tubes developing scar tissue, leading to an ectopic pregnancy. Because of the scar tissue, the fertilized egg cannot pass through the fallopian tube to become implanted in the uterus; instead, it implants in the fallopian tube. Ectopic pregnancies can result in severe, sometimes fatal bleeding and need immediate medical care.
- Infertility: Infertility, or the inability to conceive, can result from damage to your reproductive organs. Your chance of experiencing infertility increases with the frequency of PID. Delaying PID treatment also significantly raises your chance of infertility.
- Chronic pelvic pain: Pelvic inflammation can lead to discomfort that can continue for months or even years. In addition, pain during sexual activity and ovulation may be brought on by scarring in your fallopian tubes and other pelvic organs.
- Ovarian Tubal-abscess: In your reproductive tract, PID may lead to the formation of an abscess or pus collection. Abscesses can occur in the uterus or other pelvic organs, although they most frequently affect the fallopian tubes and ovaries. A potentially fatal infection might develop if an abscess is not treated.
Prevention of PID
Can pelvic inflammatory disease be avoided?
Sometimes a sexually transmitted infection is not the cause of PID. Your reproductive organs may be exposed to common vaginal bacteria, which can cause it. It could be safer to refrain from douching. However, unprotected intercourse is the primary cause of PID most of the time. Therefore, take action to engage in safe sex.
Take the following precautions to avoid STIs that might lead to PID.
- Limit your number of sexual partners because doing so raises your risk.
- Choose birth control options that are barrier-free, such as condoms and diaphragms.
- Get tested: Make an appointment with your doctor for testing if you think you may have an STI. If necessary, set up a routine screening regimen with your doctor. The best chance of preventing PID is to treat an STI as soon as possible.
- Ask to get your partner tested: Encourage your partner to be tested and treated if you have an STI or pelvic inflammatory disease. By doing this, STI transmission and potential PID recurrence can be stopped.
Can pelvic inflammatory disease be cured?
Antibiotics can treat PID if you receive a timely diagnosis and treatment for an infection. Therapy won’t be able to undo the harm. Take care of yourself right away. Visit your doctor soon to receive the necessary care to maintain your health.
What questions should you ask your doctor?
Ask your provider whether you have a PID:
- What kind of care will I require?
- Do I need to be rechecked?
- Will PID have an impact on my ability to conceive?
- What may PID complications be?
- When can I start having intercourse again?
- What steps should be taken to prevent PID?
People also ask
1. How is pelvic inflammatory disease caused?
PID, or pelvic inflammatory disease, is caused by an infection that starts to spread to the female reproductive system. The illness is typically brought on by a bacterial infection that enters the body through the cervix or vagina and then spreads to the womb, fallopian tubes, and ovaries.
2. What is the most common symptom of pelvic inflammatory disease?
- The most typical symptom is pain or soreness in the lower abdomen (belly) or stomach.
- Abnormal vaginal discharge generally has a strange odor and is yellow or green.
- Fever or chills
- Vomiting and nauseous.
- Pain during intercourse
- Peeing while burning.
3. How do you know you have pelvic inflammatory disease?
When PID is present, the following are often seen indications and symptoms: Lower abdominal and pelvic pain that can range in intensity. Unusual or excessive vaginal discharge may have an unpleasant odor. It may occur before or after intercourse or between periods.
4. Is pelvic inflammatory disease serious?
When some STDs or other diseases are left untreated, a severe pelvic inflammatory disease can arise. It may result in infertility and chronic pain.