Pelvic inflammatory disease is referred to as the infection of woman’s reproductive organs that include ovaries, fallopian tubes, uterus and cervix.
1 out of every 8 women who have experienced PID, find it challenging to get pregnant. In the U.S.A, 5% of the total population of women are affected by this disease.
The bacteria causing STIs, mainly Chlamydia and Gonorrhoea, initially enter the cervix causing mild infections. These infections if not treated over time can result in PID.
Symptoms of PID are often mild and cannot be diagnosed until the woman affected with it, wants to become pregnant. However, it can be fatal if left untreated for a long period, as the infection may slowly move into the bloodstream.
Numerous factors can cause PID. Some of them are given below:
- Being sexually active before the age of 25 years
- Having more than one sexual partner
- Having a history of PID or STI
- Regular douching
- Having sexual intercourse without using a condom
Women with PID generally do not experience any symptoms. However, if there are any signs or symptoms, they are as follows:
- Mild to sharp pain in lower abdomen or pelvis
- Bleeding in between periods
- Painful intercourse
- Painful urination
- Low to high fever
- Heavy vaginal discharge with a foul smell
- Difficulty getting pregnant
If PID is left untreated for a long time, it may result in permanent damage to the reproductive organs. Scar tissues and Abscesses (pocket of infected fluid) can get developed as well.
This may lead to further complications like:
- Ectopic Pregnancy: Untreated PID results in the formation of scar tissue in the fallopian tube. This makes it difficult for the fertilized egg to implant itself in the uterus. The condition is therefore called tubal pregnancy and leads to fatal bleeding.
- Infertility: The permanent damage to reproductive organs caused by PID leads to infertility. The longer it takes for the diagnoses and treatment of PID, the lesser chances there are to get pregnant.
- Chronic Pelvic pain: This may result in the formation of scar tissue or abscesses in the reproductive organs. The pain may continue for months and can also result in experiencing pain during intercourse.
- Tubo-ovarian abscess: Mostly abscess are formed in the ovaries or fallopian tubes. However, in this case, abscess develops in the reproductive tract. If left untreated can cause fatal damage to reproductive organs.
- The OBGYN (Obstetrician and Gynaecologist) recommends antibiotics for the treatment of PID. This should be taken for as long as the OBGYN recommends it as leaving the treatment incomplete can bring the infection back.
- If there is a development of scar tissue or abscess then, surgery might be needed.