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Pelvic Inflammatory Disease – Risk Factors and Treatment

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease - Risk Factors and Treatment
Pelvic Inflammatory Disease – Risk Factors and Treatment

PID or pelvic inflammatory disease refers to an infection of the reproductive organs in females.This is an extremely common infection affecting nearly 1 million women in the USA alone annually. Unfortunately, out of these 1 million women, around one hundred thousand end up becoming infertile thanks to this complicated illness. Pelvic inflammatory is most common among teenage girls and almost 90% of these cases are a result of untreated sexually transmitted diseases or STDs like. Normally, the mouth of the uterus or the cervix acts like a barricade to prevent the entry bacteria from the vagina into the uterus and ovaries. However, STDs often infect the cervix addition to the vagina. This results in a weakened cervix that is unable to prevent the transfer microorganisms into the uterus and beyond. The outcome is a PID infection due to the passage toxic microorganisms from the vagina and cervix into the upper genital tract. Abortions and other pelvic procedures and labor are some other common causes of pelvic inflammatory diseases.

Risk Factors of Pelvic Inflammatory Disease

Factors that increase a woman’s risk of PIDs

  • Previous episode of pelvic inflammatory disease.
  • Sexually active teenage girls are at a higher risk of pelvic inflammatory disease as compared to older women.
  • Multiple sexual partners and indulging in unprotected sex

Simtoms of Pelvic Inflammatory Disease

PID does not always cause the same signs and symptoms, but is likely to affect different women differently. One or more of the following symptoms is usually an indication of a possible pelvic inflammatory disease

  • Pain in the lower abdomen, sometimes restricted to the right side.
  • Abdominal tenderness.
  • Yellowish green vaginal discharges with or without a foul odor.
  • Pain during sexual intercourse
  • Occasionally nausea and vomiting may accompany the rest of the symptoms too.

What Tests Help Confirm a PID

  • A complete history of general health and sexual practices
  • Per vaginal examination to look for cervical and fallopian tube tenderness and abnormal
  • Cervical swab to check the discharges for Chlamydia or gonorrhea.
  • Complete blood count to look for an increased WBC count indicating an infection.
  • Abdominal and pelvic ultrasound.

Mild to moderate pelvic inflammatory disease infections are treated with oral antibiotics. However, more severe infections are likely to require hospitalization and intravenous antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medications. More importantly, the sexual partner also requires a course of antibiotic therapy to PID is a 100% preventable disease. Implementing the following simple steps is likely to go a long way in preventing pelvic inflammatory disease infections.

  • Avoid multiple sexual partners.
  • Use barrier contraceptives like condoms and diaphragms during sexual intercourse.
  • Avoiding IUD insertion in women with multiple sexual partners.
  • Get any genital infection and STDs treated promptly.
  • Regular gynecology check-ups and screenings.

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About Author

Dr. Dmitry Bronfman

Dmitry Bronfman, MD, is a board-certified gynecologist who specializes in all aspects of contemporary women’s health, preventive medicine, pelvic pain, minimally invasive and robotic surgery, and general, adolescent, and menopausal gynecology.

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