Pelvic Inflammatory Disease

Pelvic inflammatory disease in an infection women get in their reproductive organs.  Most of the time, it is due to a sexually transmitted disease such asgonorrhea or chlamydia.  There are a few organisms that are not sexually transmitted that can also cause pelvic inflammatory disease.

Pelvic inflammatory disease is more likely to happen if you have an STD and fail to have it treated properly, if you have sex with someone who has sex with other people, if you yourself have multiple sexual partners, if you have had pelvic inflammatory disease in the past, if you are sexually active and are younger than age 25, if you douche, or if you use an intrauterine device as your form of birth control.

You need to reduce the risk of getting pelvic inflammatory disease if at all possible.  The only real way is to avoid STDs.  This means not having oral, anal, or vaginal sex.  If you still need to be sexually active, you should only have sex with someone who is your mutually monogamous partner who has been tested for sexually transmitted disease with negative results.  You should also consider using latex condoms each and every time you have sex.

It’s important to know if you have pelvic inflammatory disease as there are no specific tests for it.  The doctor will do a pelvic exam and an abdominal exam, looking for tenderness in the lower abdominal area.  Your symptoms can be very mild or you have no symptoms or signs at all.  If you do have symptoms of pelvic inflammatory disease, you will have pain in your lower abdomen, fever, unusual discharge from the vagina that has a bad odor, bleeding or pain with intercourse, burning on urination and bleeding between your periods.

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease

If you have any of these symptoms or suspect you may have an STD you need to be examined by a doctor who will do a pelvic exam.  If you were exposed to an STD, see your doctor immediately for treatment.  See your doctor immediately if you have any genital symptoms as described above or sores around your genital area.  Think about being tested for chlamydia every year you are sexually active and are 25 years of age or younger. You should resign yourself to being honest and open with your healthcare provider about your sexual behaviors and ask your doctor if you should be tested for the various sexually transmitted diseases.

Is there a cure for pelvic inflammatory disease? Yes there is if it is diagnosed early.  Treatment, however, won’t undo the damage that has already happened to your reproductive system while you’ve had pelvic inflammatory disease.  The longer one waits to be treated, the greater are the complications from having pelvic inflammatory disease. You will need antibiotics and while you’re on them, the symptoms get better before the infection is actually clear. This means you need to take the entire recommended dose and length of treatment your doctor recommends.

Be sure to tell your recent sexual partners that you had a sexually transmitted disease so they can be tested and treated as well.  You and your current sexual partner need to finish your entire course of antibiotics before you have sex with each other or else you will re-infect each other during the course of treatment.  Remember that you will get PID again if you get infected with an STD again.  If you have had pelvic inflammatory disease in the past, you will have a higher chance of getting it in the future.

What happens if you don’t get treated?  If it is treated early enough, you can prevent the complications of PID.  Some of the complications are serious and include:

  • Scar tissue can form inside and outside the Fallopian tube so that it can lead to blockage of the tube.
  • It can lead to an ectopic pregnancy.
  • Infertility (inability to get pregnant)
  • Chronic pelvic pain

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