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Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)

What is Pelvic Inflammatory disease?

Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is a type of sexually transmitted infection that can harm a woman’s reproductive system. It is generally not known by most people but it is one of the most serious types of disease it can cause permanent damage to reproductive organs that might leave the woman infertile. If left untreated, it can spread from vagina to the cervix, into fallopian tubes, ovaries, uterus and other parts of female reproductive system.  Pelvic inflammatory disease is one of the most dangerous sexually transmitted disease.  It is primary preventable reason of infertility in women. This type of infection is common and research has confirmed that in U.S around one million women get pelvic inflammatory disease every year.

What are the risk factors of Pelvic Inflammatory disease?

There are several risk factors concerning pelvic inflammatory disease. Women suffering from PID are likely to have pain in their lower abdomen and sometimes in the upper abdominal area as well.  There is abnormal vaginal discharge which is of unusual color like yellow or green and has bad/strange odor. A woman suffering from PID may also be having difficulty urinating and feel burning sensation while passing urine. In some more serious cases, there might be nausea, vomiting and the woman might feel chills and have high fever. PID may also cause the patient to experience pain while having intercourse.

Although not everyone is susceptible to the infection, the risk of getting pelvic inflammatory disease is more for

–          Women who are already suffering from any other sexually transmitted disease like gonorrhea and chlamydia are more susceptible to contract Pelvic inflammatory disease.

–          If a woman has multiple sexual partners, she is more likely to get a sexually transmitted infection like pelvic inflammatory disease or any other STD for that matter.

–          Young woman, usually teenagers who are more sexually active or have multiple sexual partners are more likely to develop pelvic inflammatory disease than the older women.

–          Females who had a prior episode of PID infection are also at high risk of contracting it again than those who haven’t experienced it yet.

–          Some research suggest that douching may also contribute in developing such infection, as douching may push bacteria into the upper genital region which in some cases mask the discharge which could alert the patient seek medical help.

What are the causes of Pelvic Inflammatory disease?

Pelvic inflammatory disease is usually caused by an infection developed on the upper genital area. The cervix is the part of genital area that prevents the bacteria from entering into vagina and thus preventing the bacterium to spread into the internal reproductive system and infect them. PID occurs when the cervix itself is exposed to sexually transmitted infections like chlamydia and gonorrhea etc. it becomes infected and thus is unable to protect the internal organs from infected bacteria. When the disease causing bacteria travels from cervix to the upper genital area, the reproductive organs is more likely to contract Pelvic inflammatory disease. If any kinds of STD like gonorrhea or chlamydia there is about sure shot chance of the person getting pelvic inflammatory disease.

However, not all causes of PID are from sexually transmitted diseases, in some rare cases such infection can be caused by childbirth, pelvic operation or even abortion.

How Is Pelvic Inflammatory Disease Diagnosed?

First the doctor will check your medical history and do pelvic exams to see the current condition of the reproductive organs. They will inquire about your sexual activity and look for any symptoms of a sexually transmitted disease. If the patient has abnormal cervical discharge, it will be tested to find out the reason for infection and the type of disease contracted.

Other tests will include – blood tests to analyze if you have an infection and an ultra sound to take a look at your reproductive organs.

Treatment for PID

As most STDs are treated, most doctors suggest antibiotics for treating PID. The antibiotic could be taken in the form of pills or in some cases the infection is treated with the combination of oral antibiotics and by injecting intravenously. If the infection has grown severe, it will need surgery, in such cases it is due to abscess (pus), which would need to be removed by rupturing. If the abscess remains in the body, it gets collected in the tissue which causes its inflammation. Depending upon the severity of the disease it can be a laparoscopic or laparotomy type of surgery.