Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
Pelvic inflammatory disease or PID, is a serious infection that affects the reproductive organs of women. It is a serious complication arising due to sexually transmitted diseases and can cause irreversible damage to the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and the uterus. It is also one of the most common causes of infertility among many women. PID develops when infection spreads from the vagina to other parts of the reproductive system and is usually caused by untreated chlamydia. It is most common in teenagers.
Symptoms And Causes
PID in early stages is asymptomatic and many women are not even aware of their condition. However, in later stages, PID is characterized by long painful periods, spotting or pain between menstruation and urination, lower backache, nausea, chills and fever and pain during vaginal intercourse.
PID has also been linked to the numerous ectopic pregnancies occurring every year. The most common cause of PID is sexually transmitted disease. When the cervix gets exposed and infected to STD’s, the infection spreads to the upper genital tract like the vagina leading to miscarriages, still birth and other problems.
To know if you are infected with PID get a check-up done by a doctor. A doctor will examine the health of the reproductive organs for infections like gonorrhoea and chlamydia. A blood test and an abdominal scan along with investigations of vaginal and cervical secretions is also done to confirm the disease. PID is best treated in early stages so it is important to be open with your gynaecologist about your sexual history so that you can get better help.
Once the infection is confirmed as PID, treatment will be started immediately. The patient is put on oral antibiotics if the infection is mild. In slightly severe cases, antibiotics are given both orally and intravenously. It is important to complete the full course of medication even though the symptoms are gone as the infection may still be present in the system. Painkillers and hot water bags can be taken to reduce the pain. Make sure not to use tampons, engage in sexual activity and inform your partner till complete recovery. Regular follow ups and repeat investigations ensures no traces of the infection are left and this is necessary to prevent a relapse. Surgery is considered when PID causes an abscess and antibiotics are no longer effective. The pus filled abscess is removed with a laparoscope or by opening the abdomen to view the organs. In severe cases, hysterectomy is also performed.