pelvic inflammatory disease treatment

In the United States, one out of seven women get treated with pelvic inflammatory disease. When it is counted yearly, almost a million women undergo diagnosis for PID.

The process does not stop here, one out of four women who get PID have to suffer severe complications, such as chronic abdominal pain, infertility, or an abnormal pregnancy.

Some cases are difficult to show under statistics, the number of women who remain unaware of the disease is higher than one in seven. Women with unrecognized PID disease will get to know about the complications when they try to have a baby but are unable to.

PID can spread beyond the reproductive organs and may also infect the blood, resulting in severe deadly complications if left untreated. 250,000 women get hospitalized due to PID in the US, and more than 150 die every year.

PID will cause immediate danger and may also lead to devastating long-term effects, such as it can permanently scar and damage the fallopian tubes, which can lead to blockage of tubes.

It is estimated that 12% of women experience enough tubal damage during the first stage of PID that leads to infertility. It is also important to note that the infertility rate reaches 50% after the three phases of PID.

People infected with PID are at high risk of an ectopic pregnancy, it is a condition in which a fertilized egg gets trapped in the tube and starts growing there. If it is not treated, the tube may burst, leading to internal bleeding and possibly death.

Tissue damage may result in chronic pain in women even after the PID infection is gone.

What Is Pelvic Inflammatory Disease?

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease(PID) is an infection in women’s reproductive parts, such as the uterus, ovaries, fallopian tubes, and cervix.

The primary cause of PID is some of the bacteria that cause sexually transmitted infections(STIs), such as chlamydia and gonorrhea.

Also Read Probable Gonorrhea Treatment Plans. See What’s Best For You?

What Causes PID?

Pelvic inflammatory disease causes involve various kinds of bacteria, but the most common ones are gonorrhea or chlamydia. These bacterias usually enter our bodies at the time of unprotected sex.

These bacteria can enter through the reproductive tract when the normal barrier created by the cervix is disturbed. This generally happens at the time of childbirth, miscarriage, or abortion.

What Does Pelvic Inflammatory Disease Feel Like?

In the initial stage of infection, you might not notice any symptoms of PID. But as the infection gets worse, you may have to experience the following symptoms:-

  • Pain in your lower belly and pelvis
  • Heavy discharge from your vagina with an unpleasant odor
  • Bleeding between periods
  • Pain during sex
  • Pain when you pee or have a hard time going
  • Fever and cold

Immediate medical attention is needed if you find the symptoms matching the symptoms mentioned above. If the infection is left untreated, it can lead to severe problems during pregnancy, or you may experience pain around your pelvic areas for a long time.

Some symptoms indicate emergency cases, such as:-

  • Severe pain in the lower belly area
  • Fainting or signs of shock
  • Vomiting
  • Fever having temperature more than 101F
  • Foul vaginal discharge

Sexually transmitted diseases treatment can also help you in preventing PID. Symptoms of both the STI and PID are almost identical, a heavy discharge from the vagina along with an unpleasant odor.

What Are Risk Factors For Getting Pelvic Inflammatory Disease?

Here are various parameters that can put you at the risk of developing PID, such as:-

  • Sexually active women younger than 25 years
  • Having various sexual partners
  • When your partner had multiple sexual partners
  • Unprotected sexual intercourse
  • Regular douching that imbalances good versus harmful bacteria in the vagina
  • If you were ever infected by pelvic inflammatory disease or a sexually transmitted infection.

Experts believe that the insertion of the intrauterine device(IUD) does not increase the risk of developing pelvic inflammatory disease, the risk is often within the first three weeks after insertion.

What Are The Long-Term Effects Of PID?

The untreated pelvic inflammatory disease may cause scar tissue that can result in the collection of infected fluid(abscesses) in the fallopian tubes, which damage the reproductive organs resulting in complications mentioned below:-

Ectopic pregnancy: PID, if left untreated, causes scar tissue, resulting in tubal(ectopic) pregnancy. The scar tissue creates a problem for the fertilized egg from passing its way through the fallopian tube to implant in the uterus. It results in massive, life-threatening bleeding and seeks medical attention.

Infertility: PID causes the risk of infertility in women and damages the reproductive organs. PID infection is directly proportional to infertility in women, the more time you get attacked by PID, the chance of infertility increases in the case of women. Delaying or untreated PID severely enhances the risk of developing infertility.

Chronic pelvic pain: Pelvic inflammatory disease causes pelvic pain for months or years. A sensation of pain is experienced during sexual intercourse and ovulation because of scarring in the fallopian tubes and other pelvic organs.

Tubo-ovarian abscess: It is a condition of collection of infected fluid, such as pus in the uterine tube and ovaries, causing a problem in urination and pregnancy that develops a life-threatening infection.

What Are The Preventive Measures Of Pelvic Inflammatory Disease?

The following preventive measures can reduce the risk of PID:-

Practice safe sex: Always try to use condoms while having sex, limit your sexual partner, and ask your partner about sexual history. It means neither you nor your partner should have multiple sexual partners as it also increases the risk of developing PID.

Consult the doctor regarding contraception: Some types of contraception do not protect against PID. However, contraception such as condoms may reduce the risk of developing PID. Therefore, it is important to use a condom even if you have taken birth control pills.

Get Tested: If you are infected with PID or an STI, try to consult a doctor as soon as possible because the possibility of spreading the infection and recurrence of PID decreases if treated as early as possible.

Get your partner tested: If you are infected with PID, ask your partner tested for PID or STI, if necessary. This can prevent the disease from further spreading.

Avoid douching: Douching should be avoided because it results in an imbalance of bacteria in the vagina.

Does Pelvic Inflammatory Disease Show On Ultrasound?

Yes, depending on the severity, the doctor may recommend a pelvic ultrasound. Additionally, other examinations help in diagnosing pelvic inflammatory disease, such as:-

Pelvic test: The doctor will examine your pelvic region for tenderness and swelling. The doctor may also take a fluid sample from the vagina, cervix, or urine to examine the presence of PID symptoms.

These samples mentioned above are forwarded to the laboratory.

Assessing damage

If your doctor suspects the presence of PID, he may forward the sample for more tests to check the damage caused. It is essential to diagnose PID as it can damage your reproductive organs permanently.

Such a screening process involves:-

Pelvic ultrasound is an imaging test to picturise the internal organs to get an idea about any damage.

Endometrial biopsy: It is a process of examining a sample of tissue taken from the uterus.

How To Test Yourself For PID?

The doctor often suggests antibiotics to treat PID because they sometimes remain unaware of the type of bacteria responsible for developing PID. Therefore, PID-infected patients need to complete their medicine course even if their condition gets better before completing the course.

Pelvic inflammatory disease treatment sometimes involves surgeries that are required to treat the infection. For example, if the doctor suspects that an abscess may rupture in the pelvis, surgery is performed to treat PID. Surgery can also be performed if the infection doesn't respond to the treatment.

The bacteria of PID spreads through sexual intercourse, and if a PID patient is sexually active, their partner needs to get diagnosed and treated if found infected with PID. It is important because you might get reinfected if your partner is not cured with PID.

Therefore, it is also recommended to avoid having sexual intercourse until the infection has been resolved.

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