PID: Inflammation Information
A great number of women of reproductive age suffer from a condition called pelvic inflammatory disease or PID, which is actually an infection of the female reproductive organs. Because of the damage it may cause to the uterus, the ovaries, the fallopian tubes, and other parts of the reproductive system, it is considered to be one of the most serious complications of sexually transmitted diseases in women. PID is also the main type of causes for infertility that can be prevented.
Symptoms of PID include:
- Pelvic pain, especially during urination or during sex
- High fever or chills
- Vomiting and nausea
- Pain in the upper right area of the abdomen
- Tenderness or a dull ache in the stomach or lower abdomen
- Vaginal discharge that smells unusual or shows a noticeable green or yellow tint
Under normal conditions, a woman’s cervix serves as a barrier in keeping unhealthy bacteria that has entered the vagina from reaching the internal reproductive organs. When the cervix is exposed to a sexually transmitted disease, however, it becomes compromised and unable to fully prevent these infectious bacteria from reaching the internal organs. When the bacterium reaches the upper genital tract, PID will likely occur.
Not all cases of PID are caused by a sexually transmitted disease, however; some women may suffer from the condition after having an abortion, after childbirth, and even pelvic procedures, all of which may weaken the full functionality of the cervix.
Other women at risk for PID include:
- Teenagers who are sexually active
- Women who are sexually active with multiple partners
- Women who have already experienced episodes of PID
- Women who frequently douche, which may force infected bacteria into the upper genital tract
To properly diagnose a PID, a doctor will need to take full medical history as well as any history of sexual activity. A female pelvic exam will then be conducted to assess reproductive organ health and identify any abnormal discharge or tenderness. Discharge will then be tested to identify the cause of the infection, and further testing such as blood tests and ultrasound may be deemed necessary.
Common treatments for PID generally include antibiotics, though more severe cases may necessitate surgery to fully cure the condition.
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