Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is an infection of a woman’s pelvic organs. Organs located in the pelvic area that may be affected are the uterus, fallopian tubes, ovaries and cervix.
PID is very common. In fact, in the United States, it is estimated that almost one million women develop pelvic inflammatory disease yearly. The danger comes when women do not know they have PID because of not having any symptoms. But when symptoms do appear, they may include the following:
Fever (100.4 F or higher)
Foul-smelling vaginal discharge
Sex that is painful
Urination that is painful
Pain in the upper right abdomen
With this condition, bacteria will travel up the vagina and infect organs located in the surrounding area. Reportedly, different kinds of bacteria may cause an infection, even normal vaginal bacteria is noted to bring about PID. But the most common germs that cause PID are sexually transmitted infections (STI) or sexually transmitted diseases (STD).
Are there ways to prevent this condition? Yes, there are. Some preventive measures are as follows:
The use of condoms consistently and correctly during sex
Getting tested for STDs or STIs on a regular basis if sexually active
Knowing about symptoms of STIs - awareness
Can PID cause infertility?
Yes. PID can cause severe complications like infertility, ectopic pregnancies and chronic pelvic pain.
In regards to infertility, bacteria enter the fallopian tubes and cause inflammation, resulting in scar tissue of this organ. Scar tissue blocks your tubes, and subsequently, makes it difficult or impossible for a pregnancy to take place.
So what can be done? PID can be cured with antibiotics. Due to the possible irreversible damage that PID may cause, remember it is best to take all of the antibiotics prescribed, even if symptoms subside before you’ve used them all.
It cannot be emphasized enough to see your doctor as soon as possible after the first symptoms appear. Persons who delay in obtaining medical treatment risk severe and permanent damage to the pelvic organs.
Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) - CDC Fact Sheet. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Web. 29 October 2011.
What Happens – Pelvic Inflammatory Disease. WebMD. Web. 29 October 2011.
Dita Faulkner is a freelance writer who is active in community service, rendering aid to those in need spiritually, emotionally, and mentally. She also loves to blog. Please check out her latest entry entitled, Why Be Grateful:
Reviewed November 1, 2011
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith