Everything You Should Know About Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) can affect women, in both the short and long term, and is increasingly becoming one of the most common causes of infertility in women today.
It’s important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) to seek prompt treatment. In many cases, PID can be treated successfully with antibiotics if it’s caught early enough.
Unfortunately, PID often goes undiagnosed until it reaches an advanced stage, when the condition can not only threaten fertility, but even lead to sepsis or death in severe cases.
Pelvic inflammatory disease can lead to sterility, ectopic pregnancy, or chronic pelvic pain, which can greatly affect the quality of life even after PID has been successfully treated.
Read on to better understand the pelvic inflammatory disease and how it affects the body.
What is a pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)?
Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is an infection in a woman’s reproductive organs. It may be caused by sexually transmitted bacteria, such as chlamydia or gonorrhoea.
It can also be caused by bacteria entering the body through skin cuts, like a bike accident or animal bite. PID is more common when one has unprotected sex with a new partner.
The condition can be extremely life-threatening if it spreads to the blood, so it is important to get it diagnosed early.
Pelvic inflammatory disease causes
Pelvic inflammatory disease is caused by bacteria in the vagina which subsequently spreads towards the cervix and uterus.
The most common cause of the pelvic inflammatory disease is chlamydia, which can be passed through sexual intercourse without using a condom or any form of birth control.
PID can also be caused by gonorrhoea, an infection that causes symptoms similar to that of chlamydia.
Pelvic inflammatory disease symptoms
One of the most common symptoms of Pelvic inflammatory disease is lower abdominal pain, which can be either dull or sharp. Other symptoms include fever, abdominal tenderness, spotting between periods, and pelvic inflammatory disease discharge with an unusual odour.
A woman may have no symptoms at all but still have PID, and the infection can spread quickly without treatment.
Pelvic inflammatory disease risk factors
Anyone can develop PID, but there are certain risk factors. They are as follows:
- Women who have never been pregnant are less likely to get the disease than those who have given birth.
- A woman’s immune system may also be weaker if she has HIV or AIDS, diabetes, cancer, or another condition that weakens the immune system.
- Sexually active women who use an IUD and do not always use condoms are also at an increased risk of developing this condition.
Pelvic inflammatory disease diagnosis
- Diagnosing PID: Usually, the doctor will run tests to confirm the pelvic inflammatory disease diagnosis after hearing the symptoms.Tests may include:
- A pelvic exam to test the pelvic organs.
- Checking the cervix for infections using cervical culture.
- A urine test to check for signs of blood or cancer or any other disease.
- Assessing damage: If the doctor thinks there is a possibility of pelvic inflammatory disease, they might order more tests or take a closer look at the pelvic area to see if it’s damaging.PID can cause scarring of the fallopian tubes and permanent damage to the reproductive organs.Some additional tests may include:
- Pelvic Ultrasound
- Endometrial Biopsy
Pelvic inflammatory disease treatments
Pelvic Inflammatory Disease treatment methods are as follows:
- Antibiotics: Antibiotics are typically given by mouth in pill form. In some cases, they can also be given intravenously or through an injection into a muscle.
Mild infections may only need to take antibiotics for a few days, while more severe infections could require them for weeks or even months.
- Surgery: In some cases where patients have not responded to initial treatments, surgery might be necessary. Doctors will make this decision based on what they find during a physical examination and testing.
One type of surgery that may be done is called laparoscopy. Laparoscopy is when doctors insert a thin tube with a lighted camera attached to it into the body through one small incision near the navel or below the belly button, so they can see what they’re doing inside the abdomen.
What are the complications of PID?
The complications of PID are extensive and long-lasting. PID can cause fertility issues and increase the risk of ectopic pregnancy. In some cases, PID will lead to chronic pelvic pain or infertility.
The most serious complication is that it can lead to death if not treated early, so a person experiencing symptoms of PID should see the doctor as soon as possible.
Can PID be prevented?
Yes, it can be prevented. Here’s how:
- Condoms during vaginal intercourse can reduce the risk of acquiring PID.
- Abstain from sex or use a condom during vaginal intercourse during pregnancy.
- Avoid douching, and always wash hands before touching intimately.
- Limit the number of sexual partners per year, and do not swap sexual partners often.
What are the long-term effects of PID?
Pelvic inflammatory disease has many long-term effects, including scarring of the reproductive organs. Scarring may lead to infertility and can increase the risk for other serious illnesses later in life.
Scarring can also cause chronic pelvic pain, causing pain every day.
PID can also cause ectopic pregnancy, an uncommon condition when a fertilized egg implants itself outside the uterus. If not detected in time, ectopic pregnancies can be life-threatening for both the patient and the baby.
The treatment for Pelvic Inflammatory Disease depends on the severity of the infection. If it’s just a mild infection, taking antibiotics may be all that is needed. However, surgery may be required if it is severe or if the affected person does not respond to initial treatment.
If you have been diagnosed with PID or think you might have it, contact the CK Birla Hospital. Our doctors and staff will walk you through what PID is and how it’s treated in India.
It’s important for you to understand your condition as well as its treatment options. Our team of physicians are highly trained in diagnosing and treating pelvic inflammatory disease. Contact us today to get more information or book an appointment with Dr. Archana Pathak.