Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
PID, pelvic inflammatory disease, occurs when the female reproductive organs get infected. It can create issues with the uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries. Scar tissues form between internal organs, causing persistent pelvic discomfort. It can potentially result in an ectopic pregnancy. This is the phase during which the fertilised egg develops outside the uterus. PID, when left untreated, can result in a chronic infection. Certain surgical procedures, including abortion, curettege, or IUD insertion, might result in PID. The infection normally arises in three stages: initially, the cervix is infected, then the endometrium, and the fallopian tubes. PID is sometimes referred to as the "silent pandemic" since it is prevalent among sexually active women yet does not necessarily result in any visible symptoms. Women aged 20 to 29 have the highest risk of PID.
Symptoms of Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
Some women with pelvic inflammatory disease may not show any symptoms. Women who do have symptoms may experience the following:
- Pain in the upper abdomen
- Painful sex
- Painful urination
- Pain in the lower abdomen (the most common symptom)
- Irregular bleeding
- Increased or foul-smelling vaginal discharge
Mild to severe discomfort can be caused by pelvic inflammatory disease. Some women, however, have significant discomfort and symptoms, such as
- Sharp pain in the abdomen
- High fever (higher than 101°F)
When To See a Doctor?
Consult your doctor or seek emergency medical attention if you have any of the following symptoms:
- Foul smelling vaginal discharge
- Severe pain in the lower abdomen
- Fever, with a temperature higher than 101° F (38.3° C)
- Nausea and vomiting, with an inability to keep anything down
Even if PID symptoms aren't severe, you should see a doctor as soon as possible. A sexually transmitted infection may also cause odorous vaginal discharge, uncomfortable urination, or even bleeding between periods. If you see any of these signs and symptoms, abstain from sex and visit your doctor at once. Prompt treatment of an STI can prevent PID from spreading.
At Medicover, our team of Gynaecologists can help you deal with Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) and its prevention.
Sexually transmitted bacterial infections, chlamydia, and gonorrhoea are the most prevalent causes of PID. Chlamydia causes 50% of sexually transmitted PID cases, whereas gonorrhoea causes 25% of such cases. Mycoplasma genitalium was recently identified as another sexually transmitted infection linked to PID. PID induced by gonorrhoea has a slightly increased incidence of fallopian tube blockage.
Those who have had gonorrhoea, chlamydia, or an STI, are more likely to develop pelvic inflammatory disease. However, PID can develop in the absence of an STI as well. Other factors that may increase the risk of PID include:
- Having sex when before the age of 25
- Having multiple sexual partners
- Having intercourse without the use of a condom
- Recently having an intrauterine device (IUD) inserted
- Having a history of pelvic inflammatory disease
If left untreated, pelvic inflammatory illness can lead to scar tissues and pockets of infected fluid (abscesses) in the reproductive system. These can permanently damage one’s reproductive organs. If PID is not treated, the symptoms might lead to further complications like:
- Infertility, or the inability to conceive a child.
- Ectopic pregnancy, wherein the fertilized egg fails to reach the uterus and implants itself in the fallopian tube, cervix or ovary.
- Chronic pelvic pain, which is linked to lower abdomen discomfort caused by inflammation of the fallopian tubes and other pelvic organs.
PID infection has the potential to spread to other places of the body. It may even be fatal if it spreads via blood.
Many cases of PID can be prevented by abstaining from vaginal, oral, or anal intercourse. If one is sexually active, one can reduce the chances of contracting an STI by
- Reducing the number of sexual partners, and knowing their sexual history.
- Using a condom, before engaging in sexual activities.
- Testing oneself for STIs and HIV as having other STI’s or HIV increases the chances of contracting PID.
After examining the patient’s medical history, as well as conducting a physical and pelvic examination, doctors decide on the best suited course of action. Other tests that may be performed are:
- A microscopic examination of vaginal and cervix samples
- Blood tests
- Pap test: For this test, cells from the cervix are removed and examined under a microscope. It can detect cancer, infection, or inflammation.
- Ultrasound: This test creates a picture of the organs using high-frequency sound waves.
- Laparoscopy: A small procedure performed with a laparoscope. It is a narrow tube with a lens and a light which is used to observe the reproductive tract through an incision in the abdomen wall.
- Culdocentesis: A needle is inserted into the pelvic cavity via the vaginal wall to get a sample of the pus.
Pelvic inflammatory illness is treatable, especially if detected early. Antibiotics are usually found to be effective in the treatment. Even if the symptoms go away, it's important to take all the medications exactly as the doctor prescribes. If one does not complete the medication course, symptoms may intensify. After starting the medication, the doctor may want to examine the patient again in a few days to check its progress.
The sooner one gets PID addressed, the better it is for their overall health. If PID is left untreated, it can cause serious damage and complications may occur.
If one has severe PID, hospitalisation may be advised. It may also be required if the patient is pregnant, under the age of 18, or has HIV.
Dos and Don’ts
This condition requires proper treatment and a set of do’s and don’ts to be followed to manage it and its related symptoms and infections. During the treatment and even after the treatment, one needs to remain aware and alert to manage it better.
|Take all antibiotics as directed.||Avoid symptoms like high fever or pelvic pain.|
|Consult your doctor if the condition isn’t better within 48 hours.||Douche or use tampons during the treatment.|
|Consult the doctor if the condition worsens even with treatment.||Indulge in sexual intercourse until the treatment is over|
|Stay hydrated||Stop medication without completing the course.|
|Maintain good personal hygiene||Have sexual intercourse with multiple partners.|
Precautions and self-care will help you fight the condition positively and improve your quality of life.
Pelvic Inflammatory Disease Care at Medicover Hospitals
At Medicover, we have the best team of Gynaecologists and infectious disease specialists who work together to deliver the most comprehensive treatment for Pelvic Inflammatory Disease. Our highly qualified team utilises the latest medical approaches, diagnostic methods, and technologies to treat various gynaecological issues and ailments. We use a holistic approach to manage Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) and provide personalised treatment to all our patients for a sustainable recovery.