It is an infection of female reproductive organs and it occurs when sexually transmitted bacteria enters the uterus, ovaries and fallopian tubes. It may not show visible symptoms and is preventable initially but if it grows it can lead to infertility and cause trouble in conceiving. This disease can be life threatening if it goes unchecked and remain untreated by spreading into blood stream. Using intra uterin devices or having unprotected sex can be a cause of pelvic inflammatory disease.
What Is PID – Pelvic Inflammatory Disease?
As previously described is an inflammatory disease of female upper genital tract that includes uterus, ovaries and fallopian tubes. This infection can spread from pelvis to abdomen. PID ascends from the vagina and cervix into the upper genital tract.
The female who have menstruation and is younger than 25 years with multiple sex partners is at high risk of getting infected with pelvic inflammatory disease. The women who do not use contraception and live in the area where there is high prevalence of STDs are at risk too.
Still the mechanism by which the infection ascends is unclear. Although cervical mucus provides a necessary barrier against ascend, the efficacy of the barrier may be decreased by inflammation and by hormonal changes.
In the upper genital tract, numerous microbial and host factors appear to persuade the inflammation and, thus, the amount of subsequent scarring that develops. Infection of the fallopian tubes in early phase affects the mucosa, but it may rapidly become transmural.
PID can occur in pregnancy but is rare. Chorioamninitis can occur in 12-13 weeks of gestation before mucous plug formation. As the mucous plug forms and solidifies, it seals off the uterus from ascending bacteria.
Pelvic Inflammatory Disease Video
What Are the Symptoms of PID?
Initially the person may not undergo the feeling of having any symptoms, but if present, the symptoms may include pain in abdomen and pelvis, irregular menstrual bleeding, painful intercourse, pain during urination, heavy vaginal discharge, tiredness accompanied with fever.
One must immediately visit the health care provider of one experience severe pain in lower abdomen, vomiting, fainting and fever.
One should visit the doctor even if the signs and symptoms are not severe. The symptoms of pelvic inflammatory disease can be associated with other STDs such as HIV/AIDS.
How Can I Know If I Have PID?
Diagnosing PID require urine tests, cervical culture, pelvic examination, endometrial biopsy, pelvic ultrasound and laparoscopy.
PID can be diagnosed if during the pelvic examination the doctor finds tender lower abdomen, fallopian tubes, ovaries and cervix.
Pelvic ultrasound is another helpful procedure to diagnose PID; ultrasound can view the enlarged or oedematous fallopian tubes and the presence of abscess.
A laparoscopy is a surgical procedure in which a thin, laparoscope is inserted through a small incision or through naval in the lower abdomen. This procedure helps the doctor to view the internal pelvic organs.
Is There a Treatment for PID?
Yes there are treatments for PID. Antibiotics are given to the person having pelvic inflammatory disease and can reverse the damage if taken properly. But if the person is having abscess or is pregnant, cannot be treated with the antibiotics. In severe conditions surgery can be done.
The antibiotics used for the treatment include cefoxitin or cefotetan with doxycycline, and clindamycin with gentamicin. An alternative parenteral regimen is ampicillin/sulbactam with doxycycline, ceftriaxone or cefoxitin plus doxycycline.
If one is diagnosed with pelvic inflammatory disease but not get treated early can experience the complications that include formation of scar tissue inside and outside the fallopian tubes, ectopic pregnancy, infertility and long-term abdominal pain.
How Is PID Spread?
PID doesn’t always spread from sexual contact, but mostly unprotected sex is the reason. Other STDs such as Chlamydia and Gonorrhea are the cause of PID. So if one is infected with Chlamydia or Gonorrhea, one might get treated for them as well.
How Can I Prevent Getting or Spreading PID?
One can prevent getting and spreading PID if one take precautionary measures. Do not have sex if any one of the partners is infected. Use condoms for vaginal, anal or oral sex.
Reduce number of sex partners because it can reduce the risk of getting infected. One should have regular checkups if one is sexually active.
Contraception can be a reason of pelvic inflammatory disease to some extent so one should consult the doctor for contraception. Use of contraceptive pills instead of intrauterine devices is safe.
Follow hygienic habits and don’t douche because douching disturbs the balance of bacteria in the vagina.