What you should know about Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) – Ikotun kehinde

Youths Digest – This is a fairly common infection that affects the female pelvic organs. These organs include uterus, fallopian tubes and ovaries. This infection can be sexually transmitted or naturally acquired. Left untreated it can lead to severe complications including infertility in women.

Specifically, PID affects the female reproductive organs, and usually occurs when sexually / non-sexually transmitted bacteria spread from the vagina to your womb, fallopian tubes or ovaries.

Diagram of Inflammatory Disease (PID)

This is a deceptive infection, as it can present with no signs or symptoms, and thus the affected woman might not realize she contracted the infection and will seek no treatment.

Majority of affected women only detect it later if they have trouble getting pregnant or if they develop chronic pelvic pain.

Symptoms Of PID

These might include:

1. Pain in your lower abdomen and pelvis.

2. Heavy vaginal discharge with foul smelling odor.

3. Abnormal uterine bleeding, especially during or after intercourse, or between menstrual cycles.

4. Pain or bleeding during intercourse.

5. Fever, sometimes with chills.

6. Painful or difficult urination.

7. Nausea and vomiting, with an inability to keep anything down

Please note, PID might cause only mild signs and symptoms or none at all. However, when severe, PID might cause

1. fever.

2. chills.

3. severe lower abdominal or pelvic pain — especially during a pelvic exam.

4. and bowel discomfort.

Causes

Many types of bacteria can cause PID, but

1. Gonorrhea.

2. Chlamydia infections are the most common.

3. These bacteria are usually acquired during unprotected sex.

However, less commonly, bacteria can enter your reproductive tract anytime the normal barrier created by the cervix is disturbed. This can happen

1. After childbirth,

2. Miscarriage or abortion.

Risk factors

A number of factors might increase your risk of PID, including:

1. Being a sexually active woman younger than 25 years old.

2. Having multiple sexual partners.

3. Being in a sexual relationship with a person who has more than one sex partner.

4. Having sex without a condom.

5. Douching regularly, which upsets the balance of good versus harmful bacteria in the vagina and might mask symptoms.

6. Having a history of pelvic inflammatory disease or a sexually transmitted infection.

Please, note, most experts now agree that having an intrauterine device (IUD) inserted does not increase the risk of pelvic inflammatory disease. Any potential risk is generally within the first three weeks after.

Complications

Untreated pelvic inflammatory disease might cause
1. Scar tissue.

2. Collections of infected fluid (abscesses) in your fallopian tubes, which could damage your reproductive organs.

3. Ectopic pregnancy. PID is a major cause of tubal (ectopic) pregnancy. In an ectopic pregnancy, the scar tissue from PID prevents the fertilized egg from making its way through the fallopian tube to implant in the uterus.

4. Infertility. PID might damage your reproductive organs and cause infertility — the inability to become pregnant. The more times you’ve had PID, the greater your risk of infertility. Delaying treatment for PID also dramatically increases your risk of infertility.

5. Chronic pelvic pain. Pelvic inflammatory disease can cause pelvic pain that might last for months or years.

6. Tubo-ovarian abscess. PID might cause an abscess — a collection of pus

Diagnosis

1. signs and symptoms.

2. a pelvic exam.

3. an analysis of vaginal discharge and cervical cultures,
4. or urine tests.

5. Ultrasound. This test uses sound waves to create images of your reproductive organs.

6. Laparoscopy. During this procedure, your doctor inserts a thin, lighted instrument through a small incision in your abdomen to view your pelvic organs.

Treatment

1. Antibiotics. Your doctor will prescribe a combination of antibiotics to start immediately. After receiving your lab test results, your doctor might adjust your prescription to better match what’s causing the infection.

2. Treatment for your partner. To prevent reinfection with an STI, your sexual partner or partners should be examined and treated. Infected partners might not have any noticeable symptoms.

3. Temporary abstinence. Avoid sexual intercourse until treatment is completed and tests indicate that the infection has cleared in all partners.

4. Surgery is rarely necessary.

However, if an abscess ruptures or threatens to rupture, your doctor might drain it. You also might need surgery if you don’t respond to antibiotic treatment or have a questionable diagnosis, such as when one or more of the signs or symptoms of PID are absent.