Pelvic Inflammatory Disease: What You Should Know

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease: What You Should Know

What is Pelvic Inflammatory Disease?

Pelvic Inflammatory DiseasePelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is a bacterial condition that refers to an infection of the reproductive organs in women.  This includes the uterus (womb), fallopian tubes and other reproductive organs.  The infection is often due to a serious complication of untreated sexually transmitted diseases, most commonly gonorrhea and chlamydia.  PID causes damage to the tissues in and surrounding the ovaries and uterus, and can also damage the fallopian tubes.  This damage can result is significant consequences to the female reproductive system, including abscess formation, infertility, chronic pelvic pain and ectopic pregnancy.  An ectopic pregnancy is when pregnancy occurs anywhere outside of the uterus.  The damage from PID can cause scar tissue in the fallopian tubes, thus blocking them and causing pregnancy to occur in the fallopian tube itself.  If this occurs the fetus can begin growing in the fallopian tube causing the tube to rupture.  This is extremely painful and puts the women at risk of death from internal bleeding.  Additionally formed scar tissue in the fallopian tubes can completely block off the tube resulting in infertility.  A significant proportion of ectopic pregnancies that occur each year are consequences of pelvic inflammatory disease.

What Causes Pelvic Inflammatory Disease?

The CDC estimates that more than 750,000 women experience an acute episode of pelvic inflammatory disease each year in the United States alone.  Of women who are diagnosed with PID, up to 15% of them will become infertile from the infection.  Besides complications from STDs, douching can push bacteria deep into the womans body causing infection in the reproductive organs, resulting in PID.  Douching also strips the vaginal region of all healthy bacteria (normal flora) and can lead to other bacterial conditions such as bacterial vaginosis.  There are many organisms that can cause PID, proper feminine hygiene is crucial in preventing infection that can lead to infertility and other complications.

Women of child bearing age and less than 25 years old are at most risk to getting PID.  A reason for this is that the cervix of young women and teenage girls is not fully developed which increases their susceptibility to STDs like chlamydia and gonorrhea which are linked PID.  Naturally the more sexual partners a woman entertains, the greater her risk of developing infections like pelvic inflammatory disease.  There may be a slight increase in the chance of getting PID for women who use an IUD (intrauterine device) as their method for birth control.  Women who have had prior PID infections are at a higher risk of future episodes due to the possible damage to the reproductive organs that occurred during the initial infection.

The following factors put women at risk for developing pelvic inflammatory disease:

  • Sexually active women 25 years old and younger
  • Women who douche
  • Women who use an intrauterine device (IUD) as a contraceptive
  • Women who have prior episodes of PID
  • Women who are not annually tested for STDs, especially chlamydia and gonorrhea
  • Having multiple sexual partners

 

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease Symptoms

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease SymptomsThe symptoms of pelvic inflammatory disease range from mild to severe depending on the source of infection.  As with chlamydia, infections that are caused by this STD are more likely to produce mild to no symptoms in a woman, even if there is significant damage is being done to the reproductive organs.  Fallopian tube infection that is caused by chlamydia can produce no symptoms at all, this is one of the leading causes of infertility in women.  The pelvic inflammatory diseases symptoms that are most common are lower abdominal pain, fever, painful intercourse, vaginal discharge and painful urination.  As you can see, these symptoms are shared by many other feminine hygiene conditions and this paired with the fact that PID often produces no symptoms whatsoever makes it a disease that is hard to diagnose and often missed by women and health care professionals. There is no precise test for PID, making it even harder to diagnose and mistake for another condition, many times when PID is discovered through clinical findings, un-reversable damage has already been caused to the reproductive system.  When a woman is complaining of pelvic inflammatory disease symptoms, a doctor will usually order chlamydia and gonorrhea tests to see if a STD is the culprit.

The #1 way women can prevent and detect pelvic inflammatory disorder is get to tested for PID causing STDs chlamydia and gonorrhea, which often produce no symptoms.

 

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease Treatment

The good news is that once diagnosed with PID, it is fairly easily treated with a course of antibiotics.  Though this will clear up the infection in the body, it cannot repair any damage that has been done to the reproductive system, sometimes leaving women infertile.  Also once cured, women are not immune to contracting infection at a later date.  The earlier a woman and her doctor diagnose and treat pelvic inflammatory disease, the better chance she has at preventing permanent and severe damage to the reproductive organs, this is why it is crucial that women seek treatment at the first sign of symptoms and get tested for STDs annually.  Remember, STDs such as chlamydia most often produce zero symptoms in women, you could have the disease for years and never even know it.  These days it is very easy to get cheap and anonymous std testing so there is no reason not to be tested at least annually if you are sexually active.

Click here for $25 off STD Testing at STDTestExpress.com

 

 

It’s important to note that once a woman is being treated for pelvic inflammatory disease, her sex partner should be treated with antibiotics as well.  Even if they are showing no symptoms of a bacterial infection.  Because STDs are often the source of PID in women, it is the woman’s sex partner who is often the reason the woman has contracted chlamydia or gonorrhea.  If you do indeed test positive for a STD, it’s good moral responsibility to notify all sex partners within the last six months that they should bet tested.  I hope this article has provided you with the knowledge to protect you and your loved ones from the complications of this often unknown condition that is pelvic inflammatory disease.  Help spread this knowledge to women by sharing this article via the icons below.  Best of health.

 

4 Responses to “Pelvic Inflammatory Disease: What You Should Know”

  1. Sue H says:

    My daughter had PID and was devastated to find out it was from untreated gonorrhea which she never had symptoms of and must have contracted years before her marriage. Thankfully no long term damage from PID.

  2. stdfree??? says:

    Wow, I definitely don’t want to deal with this and haven’t been tested in years. Thanks for this info, I’m relieved to know there are such anonymous online std testing services available.

  3. anonymous says:

    I had a case of PID that was luckily caught from a pee test for work. Turns out I had gonorrhea and have no idea where I got it or how long I had it for. Thank god it’s easily curable. I’m enjoying your site, keep up the good work.

  4. Hannah says:

    I’ve actually used std test express and was very impressed with the whole process. Very private and quick, I’ll be using them annually, I never want to jeopardize my oven by developing PID. Hope this article reaches many young girls who think they’re so invincible.

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