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Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) | causes| signs | treatment

Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is an infection of the upper (internal) female reproductive organs. It usually begins as an infection of the cervix, which then spreads to the uterus and fallopian tubes. The infection can spread beyond the reproductive organs into the tissues surrounding them. Chlamydia and gonorrhea are sexually transmitted infections (STIs) that commonly cause PID. Other infections that are not sexually transmitted can also cause PID.
Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is an infection of the upper (internal) female reproductive organs

Potential causes

Most cases of PID can be categorized as sexually transmitted or endogenous and are associated with more than one organism or condition including:

• Trichomonas vaginalis
• Mycoplasma hominis
• Ureaplasma urealyticum

Signs and symptoms

The symptoms of PID can vary in different women and this makes it difficult for doctors to diagnose it. It can be an acute (sudden and severe) or a chronic (long-term) infection.
The most common symptom of acute PID is:
• Severe abdominal pain.
• A high temperature
• Nausea
• Vaginal discharge
• Fast pulse
• Pain or discomfort during sex
• Constant abdominal pain or discomfort
• Weakness and tiredness
• Very heavy, painful periods
• Pain or discomfort during sex
• Inter-menstrual bleeding
Sometimes PID can be almost or entirely symptom less.

How is it spread?

PID is most often caused by STIs. Factors that make getting PID more likely include having:
  • Unprotected sex with someone with an STI such as chlamydia or gonorrhea
  • A previous PID infection
  • Sexual contact
  • Medical procedures that open your cervix such as abortion, dilation and curettage, or having an intrauterine device (IUD) inserted
  • Leaving tampons or items such as contraceptive sponges or diaphragms in the vagina too long. Bacteria can thrive and then spread from the vagina to the uterus

PID is treated with antibiotics, bed rest and pain-killers. For most women a course of tablets taken for at least 2 weeks is sufficient. In severe cases a stay in hospital may be necessary so that antibiotics can be given intravenously.

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