Pelvic inflammatory disease is an infection of the uterus, fallopian tubes, ovaries, and cervix.
One of the main causes of pelvic inflammatory disease is sexually transmitted bacteria that spreads from the vagina to the uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries.
CAUSES OF PELVIC INFLAMMATORY DISEASE
This disease is very common in women who are between the age of 15 to 29 years. Its main cause is bacteria which can be caused by an STI infection. Though, some people even suffer from this disease without having contracted an STI.
Below are the possible causes of pelvic inflammatory disease;
- Having multiple sexual partners
- Being sexually active below the age of 25 years
- Being in a sexual relationship with a person who has multiple sexual partners
- Having an STI
- Having a history of pelvic inflammatory disease or STI
- Not using a condom when doing sex
- Undergone a recent endometrial biopsy – This is the removal of a small endometrial tissue for testing and it has been seen to be able to increase a persons ability to contract STI
- Regular vaginal douching can also expose a person to pelvic inflammatory disease
SYMPTOMS OF PELVIC INFLAMMATORY DISEASE
Women who have PID can show signs depending on the stage of their infection. Some signs can be a result of mild infection while others can be as a result of severe infection.
Symptoms of pelvic inflammatory disease include;
- Pain during sexual intercourse
- Irregular bleeding during monthly periods or even during sexual intercourse
- Pain in the lower abdomen
- Painful urination
- Fainting can occur if the infection is severe
- Fever that can sometimes be over 110 degrees Fahrenheit
- Cervical motion tenderness
- Vaginal cramping
- Vomiting or nausea
- Foul-smelling vaginal discharge
- Pain in the upper abdomen
You must keep an eye on this symptoms of pelvic inflammatory disease to avoid delaying treatment.
EFFECTS OF PID
Pelvic inflammatory disease can cause several health complications if not treated early. Below are the common effects and complications associated with the pelvic inflammatory disease;
- Risk of ectopic (tubal) pregnancy – This disease has been highly associated with tubal pregnancy. This is because the scar tissue can block an ovum from passing through the fallopian tube and implanting on the walls of the uterus. Ectopic pregnancy can cause severe pain and irregular bleeding if not checked early.
- Infertility – PID can cause infertility due to the possible damage it can cause to the reproduction organs. This disease if not treated early can damage the fallopian tubes, ovaries, uterus, and other reproduction organs and eventually the person becomes infertile.
- Chronic pelvic pain – Women suffering from PID can experience chronic pain most frequently from their pelvic area. This is due to the damage the disease is causing in the reproduction organs. This is a very common among the effects of pelvic inflammatory disease
- It can cause scar tissue to develop – This is another major complication of this disease. The development of scar tissue can lead to other chronic complications like ectopic pregnancy due to the blockages it can cause. This scarring tissue can also block the cervix thus sperms will be unable to enter the uterus then move to the fallopian tube to fertilize the egg and this will lead to infertility.
- It can lead to the development of pus in fallopian tubes
These effects can be minimized by carefully observing the symptoms of pelvic inflammatory disease and starting treatment earlier before it worsens
There are several methods and healthy lifestyle practices you can do in order to avoid or reduce the prevalence of this disease.
Use the following prevention measures to reduce the prevalence of PID
- Practicing safe sex – Always using a condom during sex reduces the possibility of getting this infection. Also, you need to have one sexual partner and avoid having sex with multiple partners
- Getting appropriate advice from doctors on the use of contraceptives – Most contraceptives do not reduce the risk of contracting PID and this is why you need to get advice from your doctor on the appropriate contraceptive to use.
- Avoid douching – Douching can upset the vaginal bacteria and thus increase your prevalence to PID
- Get tested for any possibility of Sexually Transmitted Infections – Make sure you do this together with your partner to establish any possibility of STIs
- Personal hygiene – Always wipe from front to back after visiting the washrooms.
To establish if you are suffering from PID, the doctor will do any of the following tests;
- He will first get to know the symptoms you usually experience
- A pelvic exam will be done to check if the pelvic organs are infected
- Cervical culture will also be carried out to check if the cervix has an infection
- A urine test can also be carried out to check out the possibility of blood drops in urine, cancer and other diseases
- Vaginal discharge will also be tested to establish the possible existence of PID
After the doctor has carried out all those tests and established that you are actually suffering from pelvic inflammatory disease, more tests will now be carried out to establish the extent of the infection. The more tests include;
- Laparoscopy – The doctor will insert a thin lighted instrument through a small opening in your abdomen to view the state of your pelvic organs.
- Ultrasound – A doctor can use a transducer (sound waves) to get the images of your reproductive organs and this will tell the extent of the disease
- Endometrial biopsy – A doctor can decide to remove a small tissue from the uterine lining for testing and this is called an endometrial biopsy.
TREATMENT OF PELVIC INFLAMMATORY DISEASE
Treatment of pelvic inflammatory disease can involve several methods on how the person responds to the first method of treatment.
Treatment of pelvic inflammatory disease involves;
- Use of antibiotics – This is the first treatment your doctor will probably prescribe. Immediately after hearing your signs and doing a few tests your doctor will prescribe antibiotics for treatment. You are advised never to stop taking your drugs even if the symptoms go away after a short time. Stopping the use of antibiotics midway can cause the disease to reoccur
- Treatment of the partner – Sexual partners should also be treated to prevent any possible reoccurrence of pelvic inflammatory disease
- Avoiding sex temporary – It’s appropriate to avoid sex for a few days while undergoing treatment.
- Surgery – This is very rare, but the doctor can recommend it if an abscess in the pelvic ruptures or is suspected to be able to rupture soon. Also if an infection is severe ad does not respond to any type of treatment, this will be the only option available.
Treatment should be done early to minimize the possibility of the effects of PID arising