Pelvic Inflammatory Disease: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment, Complications

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) is a common cause of infertility in a number of women in their reproductive age. Most times, it usually occurs during the adolescent period when we are at our most active premarital sexual life, and sometimes is usually not detected until after marriage when it has resulted in a number of complications.

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What is Pelvic Inflammatory Disease

PID a disease of the female genital/reproductive tract that arises as a result of infections that enters through the Cervix (mouth of the womb) and goes to the womb, fallopian tubes & even all the way up to the Ovaries.

It causes inflammation (swelling) in the areas that it passes through. These swelling can result in blockage or narrowing in the tubes.

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease can be caused by a number of conditions like Infections.
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What Causes Pelvic Inflammatory Disease

PID is mostly caused by bacterial infection from Chlamydia & gonorrhoea. Other organisms may also cause PID, but these are the most common causes.

How Can I get Pelvic Inflammatory Disease

The bacteria that causes PID need to be deposited around the cervix, through the vagina, before they can move up to cause the disease. Hence, the common means of infection is through;

  • Unprotected Sex: with persons carrying infections can lead to transfer of this infections to you.
  • Unsafe Abortion: Termination of pregnancy, especially instrumental, done at the hands of quacks & untrained or unlicensed persons who uses unsterile & infected instruments can introduced these bacterial organisms into your womb (uterus) leading to the development of PID in future. Perforation of your womb is also a risk here.
  • Use of Sexual Instruments: ladies who use various instruments to satisfy their urges could also transmit these infections, if the instruments are contaminated.

Symptoms of Pelvic Inflammatory Disease

PID has been known to present in a number of ways such as;

  • Lower Abdominal pain: especially if you notice this pain at both sides of your abdomen, close to your hips.
  • Pain during sexual intercourse
  • Vaginal discharge
  • Bleeding between periods or after sex. Note that this type of bleeding can also be a sign of Cervical cancer.

How do I treat Pelvic Inflammatory Disease

If a person is suspected of having PID, it is advised that the person should also do tests for other types of Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI).
Anyone who suspects having PID should see a doctor immediately, so that treatment can be started because any delay can give time for complications to develop & that would not be good.

  • Treatment involves drugs against these 2 organisms and includes macrolides or tetracycline with metronidazole & a cephalosporin. This should last for two weeks.
  • It is important that all sexual partners that you can recall should be contacted & tested too & also treated.

Complications of Pelvic Inflammatory Disease

PID when not detected or treated in time can cause a number of unfavorable conditions like;

  • Inflammation & damage of the Endometrium (womb) & fallopian tube resulting in Tubal blockage.
  • Infertility: due to the tubal blockage prevent sperms from going to meet the egg.
  • Ectopic pregnancy: can result of the fertilized egg cannot get to the womb to implant. It gets stuck in the Fallopian tube or somewhere else in the abdomen. This is a serious situation & is an emergency.
  • Heavy Menstrual Bleeding.
  • Chronic pelvic pain.
  • Hydrosalpinx: known as water in the tube due to inflammation.

Prevention of Pelvic Inflammatory Disease

PID is preventable by;

  • Practice Safe sex: Do not have sex without a barrier (condom), whether female or male, no matter how much the urge is. Do not let a pleasure of 5 minute cause you a lifetime of misery.
  • Avoid unsafe abortions at the hands of quacks. Always talk to a doctor whenever you have any medical challenges.

Share the message & spread the awareness about PID.

Authors

  • Obasi Chinedu David attended the College of Medicine, University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, in ituku-ozalla, Enugu state, Nigeria.

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