Before we go in depth and learn PIDs risks, symptoms, treatment, and long term effects, let us take a look at what pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is. What is PID and what does it do to our body?
Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is more common in women all over the world. There are some men who contract this disease but this is quite rare because most of the time are only silent carriers. PID is an infection in some parts of a woman’s reproductive system specifically on the lower abdomen area. Our pelvic system includes all parts in the lower abdomen like the reproductive system like the fallopian tube, cervix, and so on and so forth. This condition plagues an average of 1 million women in the US alone each year and continues to grow in numbers in consecutive years.
A variety of bacteria can cause PID but typically, bacteria that cause the following diseases are the most common reasons for PID:
- Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs);
- Gonorrhea and;
First, bacteria will enter your vagina. The vagina’s entrance is large enough to contract bacteria to enter inside. This is the reason why PID is common among women. A little off balance on the PH level of a woman’s vagina can cause an overwhelming increase of bacteria. For some time, if not treated, the infection will spread into the pelvic organs and eventually in some part of the body. PID is a serious disease and should be treated immediately. If left untreated, it might enter the bloodstream and might cause a life-threatening predicament. See a doctor immediately if you have any of the PID symptoms.
Who Are at Risk of This Disease?
Generally, if you have an STD, gonorrhea or chlamydia, you might possibly have PID later on if left untreated. However, the scary part is, any woman can have PID without acquiring any vaginal bacteria beforehand. People with this predicament might be at risk:
- Age 25 and under and is active in sex;
- Have multiple sex partners;
- Having sex without protection (condom);
- The usage of the intrauterine device (IUD);
- Have been diagnosed with PID before.
Symptoms of PID
Symptoms of PID can be tricky for women who contracted the diseases but is not showing any of the symptoms. Some women luckily may have the following symptoms and can get treated early on:
- Pain in your lower abdomen
- Painful and itchy vagina during intercourse
- Painful and unsatisfied urination
- Irregular bleeding
- Smelly vaginal discharge;
Severe Symptoms of PID
- Sharp pain in the abdomen;
- High and prolonged fever.
If you experience any of these symptoms, especially if the symptoms are under severe symptoms, immediately, consult your doctor.
Doctors can immediately know if you are suffering from PID but just to confirm his or her suspicion he or she will usually run different tests. These are the tests:
- Pelvic exam;
- Cervical culture;
- Urine test.
Once the laboratory tests confirm you have PID, the doctors will run tests again to know the extent of damage the disease gave you. These are the additional test to determine the extent of the damage:
- Pelvic ultrasound;
- Endometrial biopsy: a small sample from the lining of your uterus is extracted and tested;
- Laparoscopy: uses an instrument to takes pictures of your pelvic organs.
Treatment for PID
Treatment for PID is by antibiotics medication. The doctor will usually prescribe two types of antibiotics. Your doctor will a timeline and the dosage for you. Make sure to take note and follow this instruction. In a few days of constant medication, you might feel some kind of relief. Complete your medication and do not skip or try to ditch it early on.
Even if you are feeling better, you still have to complete your timeline of medication or the infection will be back again.
If you are expecting and has developed a pocket of pus in your pelvis, your doctor might recommend to hospitalize you for treatment in a few days. Sometimes PID requires surgery but this is quite rare. Surgery is only required if there is a rupture of the pus pocket or your pus pocket will rupture. Surgery is also recommended if ever your body does not respond to antibiotics treatment.
Please abstain from sex temporarily when you are still on your PID medication or when you are fully treated. This is to prevent the spreading of the infection to your partner. Males are silent carriers of PID. They may contract this disease too. If they are left untreated for PID, their life might be threatened.
You can help yourself lower the possibility of contracting PID by practicing the following:
- Use a condom during sex or generally have a safe sex practice;
- After sex, pee and wash your vagina with water only and not with any harsh douches or soap.
- Consult your doctor immediately if you have PID symptoms especially if you have PIDs severe symptoms;
- Veer away from douches and other harsh chemicals that will tip off the balance of the PH level of your vagina;
- Wipe from front to back after using the toilet with clean tissue.
Long Term Effects of PID
- Infertility; might be hard to conceive
- ectopic pregnancy
- chronic pelvic pain
- The infection can spread to some parts of your body.
- It can become life-threatening if it enters the bloodstream.
PID is treatable but if you want to get pregnant soon, you might be having trouble conceiving. This is quite rare according to statistics. Women are often t risks for these kinds of diseases become how the anatomy of our reproductive system is displaced. We should always be cautious of not disrupting the PH level balance of our vagina. Tipping off this balance might turn our vagina into a hive for an unwanted increase of bad bacteria.