What Is Pelvic Inflammatory Disease? How To Treat And Prevent The Condition

What Is Pelvic Inflammatory Disease? How To Treat And Prevent The Condition

In the world of today, women have to deal with a lot of health problems. It is really not known what makes them vulnerable to some conditions that can affect their reproductive organs. One such condition is Pelvic Inflammatory Disease that can lead to several complications.

Highlights

  Pelvic Inflammatory Disease is a bacterial infection that affects female reproductive organs

•  The condition spread through sexually transmitted diseases including chlamydia and gonorrhea

  Antibiotics is the best way to treat pelvic inflammatory disease

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease

The pelvis is a structure in the lower abdomen containing fallopian tubes, cervix, ovaries and uterus. Pelvic Inflammatory Disease or PID is a bacterial infection of these female reproductive organs. The condition occurs when bacteria travels through cervix to the uterus and fallopian tubes, causing inflammation to these organs.

What causes Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)?

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease occurs due to sexually transmitted diseases. While many types of bacteria can cause PID, but the most common sexually transmitted diseases that are responsible for this condition include gonorrhea and chlamydia. The chlamydia is the common silent cause associated with the disease, meaning that many women do not know or won’t experience any symptoms.

According to health experts, 15 percent or 1 in 8 women in India suffer from Pelvic Inflammatory Disease. And experts also suggest that at least 60 percent of women in the country don’t even know that they are suffering from the disease. That makes their condition worse later when they are diagnosed. Pelvic inflammatory disease is more common in metropolitan areas because of much exposure to sex.

What are the Symptoms of PID?

Symptoms of Pelvic Inflammatory Disease depend on the severity of the condition. It might be acute (sudden short term occurrence with severe symptoms), chronic (long term) and at times silent (without any symptoms). Some women may discover they have PID after unsuccessful attempt to conceive or after they have experienced ectopic pregnancy.

But those who experience symptoms might feel:

Moderate Symptoms -

  • Pain in the upper and lower abdomen
  • Pain during sex
  • Fever
  • Irregular bleeding
  • Pain while urinating
  • Tiredness
  • Foul smelling vaginal discharge

Severe Symptoms -

  • Vomiting
  • Fainting
  • Sharp abdominal pain
  • High fever

What are the risk factors of PID?

Getting sexually transmitted disease (STDs) is the most common cause or risk factor. Other risk factors include:

  • Indulging in sex under the age of 25
  • Having multiple sex partners
  • Having sex with a person who have already multiple partners
  • History of pelvic inflammatory disease
  • Unsafe sex without condom

Complications resulting from PID

If left untreated, pelvic inflammatory disease can render serious complications such as:

  1. Ectopic Pregnancy - Pregnancy occurring outside the uterus. About 9 percent cases can result in ectopic pregnancy.
  2. Infertility - PID can block fallopian tubes resulting making the egg incapable to reach to the uterus. This happens in about 10-15 percent of cases.
  3. Tubo-ovarian pus - PID can result in the formation of pus in the uterine tubes and ovaries. If it is left untreated, it can become life threatening.
  4. Chronic Pelvic pain - Scarring of the fallopian tubes can cause pain in the pelvis that can last for months.

Also Read





Extrauterine Pregnancy - Learn About Complications and Risk Factors of Ectopic Pregnancy


How PID is Diagnosed?

Doctors diagnose PID based on different signs and symptoms. Normally a pelvic exam, an analysis of vaginal discharge and cervical cultures, or urine tests is conducted.

  1. Blood and urine tests - The test will analyze white blood cell count that may indicate an infection or inflammation. The physician might also advise tests for HIV and sexually transmitted infections.
  2. Ultrasound - The test uses sound waves to produce images of your reproductive organs.
  3. Laparoscopy - During this surgical procedure, a thin, lighted instrument is inserted through a small incision in the abdomen to view your pelvic organs.

Is Pelvic Inflammatory Disease Treatable?

Treatments for pelvic inflammatory disease include:

Medication

You will probably get a combination of antibiotics that would have to be started immediately. After getting lab test results, the doctor might adjust the prescription to better match what's actually causing the infection. You would be advised to revisit the doctor after three days to ensure the treatment is working. Ofloxacin, ceftriaxone, metronidazole and doxycycline are considered the best antibiotics for treating PID.

Make sure you take your medication on time and complete the course (usually 2 weeks), even if you see improvement in your health. The antibiotic treatment can avert serious complications but it is unable to reverse any damage caused by PID.

Surgery

In some rare cases, surgery might be required. This is necessary only in the case of abscess or accumulation of pus in your pelvis or if the doctor suspects that an abscess will rupture. Surgery might also be required in case infection is not responding to the treatment.

Prevention

  • Practice safe sex
  • Get screened for sexually transmitted infections
  • Wipe from front to back after using the bathroom to stop bacteria from entering your vagina

It is best to consult a doctor if you are experiencing any of the symptoms. Get regular screening to be on the safe side, you never know when this disease will wreak havoc.

Sources

1. Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)(2015, September 26). read more
2. Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)(2015, June 04). read more
3. Pelvic inflammatory disease [fact sheet]. (2017).
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