Last Updated on June 18, 2022 by admin
Pelvic inflammatory disease, or PID, is an infection of the female reproductive organs. PID is a condition that requires urgent medical attention. If left untreated, it can have serious consequences like infertility and can prove life-threatening.
Pelvic inflammatory disease is mostly caused by bacterial infections. Chlamydia and gonorrhoea infections are the most common bacteria to cause pelvic inflammatory disease. The infection transmits most of the times through sex.
The infection starts from the vagina and travels up to the cervix, uterus, and fallopian tubes.
The signs and symptoms of PID include:
- Lower abdomen pain
- Foul-smelling vaginal discharge
- Pain while having sex
- Bleeding while having sex
- Burning urination
- Bleeding between the periods
Certain factors increase the risk of getting reproductive tract infections and subsequently PID:
- Having multiple sex partners
- Having sex with a partner who has a sexually transmitted infection
- Having sex with a partner who has multiple sex partners
- Previous history of sexually transmitted infections
- Lowered immunity as in conditions like diabetes or taking medications like corticosteroids
- Having unprotected sex
- Having an intrauterine contraceptive device
PID is a condition that requires urgent medical treatment. Most infections begin as an isolated infection from the vagina, which can be treated with antibiotics. If left untreated, the infection travels up to the uterus and fallopian tubes.
The infection triggers inflammation- your body’s response to an infection. This inflammation causes scarring- where a fibrous tissue forms permanently. If scarring occurs in the fallopian tubes, permanent infertility can occur. PID remains a major cause of infertility in women who are unable to conceive.
Moreover, the infection can spread further, causing complications.
Pelvic Inflammatory disease can result in complications like:
As discussed earlier, PID triggers an inflammatory response, due to which permanent scar tissue forms in the fallopian tubes. Scarring of the fallopian tubes causes their occlusion. Due to this, the egg is unable to meet the sperm fertilisation) and infertility can occur. Women who are older, smoke, or have an IUD placed are more likely to get infertility due to PID.
Ectopic pregnancy is when a pregnancy happens, but the fertilised gets implanted at any site other than the uterus. PID is one of the major causes of an ectopic pregnancy. The occluded fallopian tubes prevent the passage of the fertilised egg towards the uterus, and therefore, the egg implants outside the uterus. Ectopic pregnancy can rupture and prove life-threatening if not treated on time.
An abscess is a collection of pus. In PID, multiple abscesses tend to develop in the fallopian tubes or the ovaries due to infection. These abscesses can also form in the uterus or anywhere else in the female reproductive tract. Treatment with antibiotics or surgical drainage of the abscess is required to treat them. If left untreated, these abscesses can burst, leading to the spread of the infection. The infection can spread into the abdominal cavity (peritonitis), or in the whole body (septicemia), and can be fatal.
PID is a condition that needs timely medical attention. To prevent PID, infection control is important. Practice safe sex. Get tested for any sexually transmitted infections, and ask your partner to get tested too. Try to limit the number of sexual partners. Seek treatment urgently if you notice any signs of a reproductive tract infection like foul-smelling vaginal discharge.
If you have a reproductive tract infection, consult a gynaecologist. You can consult an online gynecologist.