Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) is a term that is often used in conversations about reproductive health, but is not always clearly understood.
Impact on an estimated 4.4% PID is quite common in women of childbearing potential in the United States and, if left untreated, can have serious long-term health effects.
PID occurs when bacteria migrate through the cervix and cause infection of the upper reproductive organs – the uterus, fallopian tubes, and / or ovaries. When microorganisms from the cervix and vagina move up the reproductive tract, it can lead to PID.
Typically these microorganisms are made up of bacteria STIsnamely chlamydia and gonorrhea, but it can develop from other pathogens as well. STIs are the cause of about a third of PID, although the rate is higher in people under the age of 25.
What are the symptoms of pelvic inflammatory disease?
Some people with PID are asymptomatic while others may have a gradual increase in symptoms or an acute onset. Symptoms of PID can appear nonspecific and can easily be confused with other reproductive health or abdominal problems.
Here are some common symptoms of PID:
- Lower pelvic pain.
- Elevated Vaginal dischargeor discharge that is yellow, greenish, or pus-like.
- Irregular periods or spots.
- Painful intercourse.
- Frequent and painful urination.
- Pelvic organ and abdominal sensitivity.
- To be available Endometriosis.
In the case of an acute infection, nausea, vomiting, dehydration, fever and rapidly worsening pain may occur.
Diagnosing pelvic inflammatory disease
Diagnosing PID can be difficult because the symptoms are not specific.
If you or your provider suspect PGD, you or your provider will most likely be diagnosed using several different methods:
- An external and internal examination of the reproductive and abdominal organs to test for sensitivity and visual signs of infection.
- A full STI test.
- Possibly a pregnancy test.
- ONE White blood cell count test for infection.
- An ultrasound of the ovaries or a transvaginal sonogram.
- A blood culture to determine which bacteria are present.
- A diagnosis laparoscopy.
Risk factors for pelvic inflammatory disease
Outside of contracting an STI, there are a few other ways PID can develop.
People who have recently had a gynecological procedure or surgery such as an IUD insertion or an endometrial biopsy are at increased risk of PID.
Recent pregnancies or births, regardless of the outcome, also increase a person’s risk of PID.
Long-term health effects of PGD
PID-causing bacteria can potentially infect and damage any organs they come in contact with. However, the fallopian tubes are most susceptible to damage because of their fragility. If the infection ends in the fallopian tubes, it is called Salpingitis.
IIf it spreads into the abdominal cavity, it can lead to it PeritonitisInflammation of the tissues on the inside of the abdomen.
One of the most common complications with PID is infertility, difficulty conceiving, or having a baby. One of eight women Those who have had PGD report difficulty conceiving. PGD also increases a person’s chance of having one Ectopic pregnancy, a painful and potentially life-threatening complication.
In people with untreated PID who are pregnant, the bacteria that cause the infection can potentially cause health problems in the developing fetus.
Other people may experience chronic pelvic pain and possibly scar tissue called adhesions.
PID can lead to a tubo-ovarian abscess, an inflammatory mass in the fallopian tubes and possibly the surrounding organs.
In very rare cases, PGD can lead to death. Death is less than 1% and is usually from a subsequent health problem such as TOA or ectopic pregnancy.
Long-term health complications and the risk of infertility increases with multiple PID infections.
How do you treat PGD?
Sometimes PID can go away on its own, typically in cases where patients have shown no symptoms. However, this is not the case for most people, which means it is important to seek treatment as soon as symptoms appear.
The most common treatment is with antibiotics. While antibiotics cannot reverse scars that have already appeared, they should prevent future damage from infection.
In some cases, a provider can collect a blood culture from the fallopian tubes, which will reveal what type of bacteria it is. Since this is a difficult process, they usually only prescribe one broad spectrum antibiotic, which is supposed to kill all possible strains of PID-causing bacteria.
If you’re on antibiotics for PID (or something else), it’s important to stop the entire round, even if your symptoms go away.
In severe cases, hospitalization with intravenous antibiotics may be required.
Other possible, but not common, treatments include drainage procedures or other surgery, especially for those who are unresponsive to antibiotics or who have a rupture in their reproductive organs.
How to prevent PID
There are many steps you can take to minimize your risk of developing PID.
- Don’t shower. Douching can affect the The natural flora of the vaginato lower the pH and increase the risk of infection.
- Use protection. Use condoms or other protective barriers, especially when having sex with a new partner.
- Get tested for STIs, The earlier STIs are detected, the lower the likelihood of PID.
- Seeking treatment immediately if symptoms occur.
Although there is no such thing as “safer sex,” you can practice safer Sex by being tested for a new partner, or if you have more than one partner, discussing STIs with your partner and getting tested regularly – at least every six months.
Natasha’s passion for reproductive health began at the age of fourteen when she was present at the birth of her youngest sister. Her incredible experiences as a birthing doula gave her insights into the magical realm of childbirth, pregnancy and everything in between. Your role as an obstetrician is her way of serving as an activist. She uses writing as an important educational tool to bring about changes in our view of reproductive health as a whole.