What is Pelvic Inflammatory Disease?
In the United States, Pelvic Inflammatory Disease affects millions of women each year. It is an infection of one or more pelvic organs, including the uterus, cervix, and fallopian tubes.
PID occurs when a bacteria or organism enters the cervix and spreads Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is caused by an infection that starts in the vagina and spreads upward into the uterus, fallopian tubes and pelvis. Most often, it is caused by a sexually transmitted disease. Women who use intrauterine devices (IUDs) are at increased risk for abortion.
Symptoms of pelvic inflammatory disease include:
Lower abdominal pain; Fever, Rapid Pulse; Chills; Back Pain; Painful Intercourse and Vaginal Discharge. If PID is not treated, pain may be so intense that it is hard to walk. The infection may spread into the bloodstream and throughout the body.
PID is a serious condition and requires immediate medical attention. If you are experiencing pelvic pain or symptoms of PID, you should see your gynecologist immediately. If at all possible, maintain a record of your pain and take it with you to your appointment. This will help your physician to know when your pain occurs, where it is located, and the severity. Left untreated, PID can become life threatening.
Pelvic inflammatory disease is usually contracted through sexual contact. Untreated Gonorrhea and chlamydia cause an estimated 90% of all PID cases. It can also sometimes be caused by childbirth.
Current treatment and prevention recommendations:
PID can be diagnosed through a new procedure called falloposcopy. Falloposcopy is a visual examination of the inside of the fallopian tubes. It is a simple procedure performed on an out-patient basis.
If PID is diagnosed and had not progressed to a stage severe enough to require major reconstructive surgery to repair the fallopian tubes, antibiotic therapy made be used. Floxin is now approved by the FDA as the first oral medication sanctioned for independent use for treating pelvic inflammatory disease. Previous recommendations included the use of intravenous antibiotics which required hospitalization.
Just prior to, during and after a menstrual period, the cervix dilates slightly; increasing the risk of pelvic inflammatory disease by making it easier for an organism or bacteria to enter the cervix and cause infection.
Extra care should be taken during these times to prevent PID and other sexually transmitted diseases.
Douching significantly increases the risk of developing PID and other pelvic infections and is not recommended. Douching removes the natural, protective mucous from the cervix, giving bacteria a more receptive place to grow. Always use caution if douching must be done and be aware if the risks.
Getting prompt treatment and follow-up care can cure pelvic inflammatory disease and keep it from causing further problems. Follow your doctor’s advice closely, finish all your medication and return to your doctor for all scheduled checkups. To avoid reinfection, your sexual partner(s) also should be treated, and you should follow all of the recommendations for prevention.
The best protection against PID and other sexually transmitted diseases is to always use a condom unless you are in along term, monogamous relationship and both you and your partner have been tested for HIV and other STD’s. A little inconvenience before sexual intercourse can prevent a lifetime of pain and even death. Remember! Condoms prevent disease and can save lives.