Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is an infection of the upper part of the female reproductive organs. PID often has no symptom so you may not realize it. According to the data, 1 million women have a PID episode each year and PID causes 15% of infertility cases in America. If not treated in time, PID may cause fertility problems.
Many types of bacteria can cause PID, while
gonorrhea or chlamydia infections are the most common. Some behaviors can
increase the risk of PID, including:
- Sexually active.
- Childbirth, miscarriage or abortion.
- Having multiple sexual partners.
- Having sex without a condom.
- Douching regularly (This can upset the balance of good versus
harmful bacteria in the vagina and may mask symptoms).
- Having a history of PID or a STI (sexually transmitted infection).
Most women don’t know they have PID because
they have no symptom. In some cases, some symptoms may appear, including:
- Pain in the lower abdomen and pelvis.
- Pain in the upper right abdomen (rarely).
- Heavy vaginal discharge with an unpleasant odor.
- Abnormal uterine bleeding, especially during or after intercourse,
or between menstrual cycles.
- Pain or bleeding during intercourse.
- Fever, sometimes with chills (100.4° F or higher).
- Painful or difficult urination.
In addition, PID can cause extreme pain and
fever, especially if it is caused by gonorrhea.
You doctor may diagnose PID from the
symptoms and some exams, including:
- Pelvic examination.
- Blood test (for STI).
- Ultrasound, CT or MRI.
Treatment methods of PID may mainly include:
A combination of antibiotics.
You should take all of the medication, even if you feel much better. Antibiotic can help prevent serious complications but can’t reverse any damage from PID.
The partner should be treated together.
To prevent reinfection with an STI, your
sexual partner(s) should also be examined and treated.
Avoid sexual intercourse.
You should avoid sexual intercourse until
treatment is completed and tests indicate that the infection has cleared in all
In rare cases, women with severe symptoms or pregnancy need hospitalization. If the antibiotic treatment is not working or an abscess ruptures or threatens to rupture, patients may need a surgery.
PID can cause many complications,
- Ectopic pregnancy
- Chronic pelvic pain
- Tubo-ovarian abscess
- Pelvic peritonitis
Some methods may be helpful to prevent PID,
- Use condoms.
- Don’t douche.
- Regular testing for STI.
- Avoid vaginal activity, particularly intercourse, after delivery, miscarriage, abortion or certain gynecological procedures.
- Reducing the number of sexual partners.
Please consult your doctors if you have any
Keywords: pelvic inflammatory disease; PID.