Pelvic inflammatory disease or PID is an infection of the uterus, fallopian tubes and ovaries. If it is left untreated it can cause major damage to the reproductive organs and make it very difficult to become pregnant.
Pelvic inflammatory disease is usually caused by having sex with someone who has a sexually transmitted disease such as gonorrhea or Chlamydia. Pelvic inflammatory disease will occur when the bacteria travels past the cervix and up into the internal organs of the reproductive system.
There are a few other ways women can get pelvic inflammatory disease, but these are rare. Sometimes bacteria that are found in the vagina will travel up into the uterus and cause infection. Pelvic inflammatory disease can occasionally occur after childbirth, or a miscarriage, or after having an abortion.
The symptoms of pelvic inflammatory disease are different in each woman. One symptom may be a pain or tenderness in the lower abdomen. A woman may have vaginal discharge that is green or yellow and this discharge will have an unpleasant odor.
Other symptoms of PID will include irregular menstrual periods, high fever with nausea and vomiting and pain during sex. Occasionally, a woman that has PID will experience pain during urination.
If you think that you have pelvic inflammatory disease, you should see your doctor right away. Your doctor can confirm PID by doing a pelvic exam and taking a sample to be tested. It is critical that you see your doctor right away because waiting even one or two days can cause the infection to spread.
Treatment for PID is an antibiotic that your doctor will prescribe. It is important that you take all of the antibiotics even if you start to feel better. Not finishing the full course of antibiotics can allow the infection to come back.
Sometimes a woman with pelvic inflammatory disease will need to be hospitalized to receive intravenous antibiotics. This may be indicated in cases of severe illness or pregnancy.
It is important to remember that if a woman has pelvic inflammatory disease caused by a sexually transmitted disease; her partner must be treated also. If the partner is not treated, the disease will continue to be transmitted back and forth between partners.
The risk factors associated with pelvic inflammatory disease include having more than one sexual partner and having a sexually transmitted disease. Another risk factor of PID is having sex under the age of 25. Douching can cause pelvic inflammatory disease because it can push the bacteria up into the uterus and it can also mask the signs of infection.
If you think you may have pelvic inflammatory disease, it is critical that you see your doctor right away. The longer that treatment for PID is delayed, the more damage will be done to your reproductive organs.