How do you get Pelvic Inflammatory Disease/How can you get PID? Pelvic Inflammatory Disease Causes:
Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is a serious bacterial infection of the female reproductive organs. Men cannot develop PID, and it is not contagious (however, men can carry the bacteria that was the initial cause of PID).
Many different types of bacteria can cause PID. PID usually starts in the vagina via an existing sexually transmitted infection. Gonorrhea and Chlamydia are the most common causes of PID.
You can get PID without having an STI. Normal bacteria found in the vagina and on the cervix can sometimes cause PID.
The risk for developing PID is higher if you are exposed to infected secretions – especially infected semen – during menstruation, and ovulation, when the cervix is more open and mucus if more penetrable.
Douching can push bacteria into the pelvic organs and cause infection – it can also hide the signs of an infection. Any medical procedure that opens a woman’s cervix can allow bacteria to pass through the cervix into the uterus and fallopian tubes. These procedures can include: abortion, D&C (dilatation and curettage), and IUD (intrauterine device) insertion.
How to tell if you have Pelvic Inflammatory Disease? PID Symptoms:
The primary symptom is pain in the lower abdomen. It may be so mild that you hardly notice it, or so strong that you may not even be able to stand. You may feel tightness or pressure in the reproductive organs, or an occasional dull ache. Additional symptoms may include:
- abnormal or foul discharge from the vagina or urethra
- pain or bleeding during or after intercourse
- irregular bleeding or spotting
- increased menstrual cramps
- increased pain during ovulation
- frequent or burning urination
- inability to empty the bladder
- swollen abdomen
- sudden high fever that comes and goes
- swollen lymph nodes
- lack of appetite
- nausea or vomiting
- pain around the kidneys or liver
- lower back or leg pain
- feelings of weakness, tiredness, or depression
- diminished desire to have sex
How to know if you have PID? Pelvic Inflammatory Disease Tests:
If one knows which organisms are caused the PID, diagnosis can be quick, however, pinpointing the organism often takes time and multiple tests which are not always readily available.
Sometimes organisms infecting the uterus and fallopian tubes don’t show up in a cervical culture. Blood tests can help indicate whether you have an infection but won’t always tell which one. An endometrial biopsy can find hard-to-culture organisms, but if it is not done carefully, this procedure can spread germs from the cervix and vagina to the uterus.
In some cases, ultrasound, including vaginal ultrasound, may be useful. A definite diagnosis often requires laparoscopic surgery.
Relief spells (Rolaids?!) PID Treatment:
Antibiotics, when prescribed accurately, can clear the bacteria, but surgery may be necessary for organs damaged beyond repair.
What’s going to happen to me?!!?! Pelvic Inflammatory Disease Expectations:
Many experts recommend all women being treated for pelvic inflammatory disease be hospitalized for treatment, but not all physicians follow those recommendations. Most women are hospitalized in the event of an acute attack and receive intravenous antibiotics. Patients who are still not cured may have gotten the wrong antibiotic, have a pelvic abscess, or have been reinfected by their partner.
If sexually transmitted, both partners should be tested for all STIs, otherwise, a recurrence of PID can occur months after the initial infection is cleared, particularly if one does not maintain daily health routines or is under too much stress.
Things to be aware of… PID Complications:
When left untreated, PID can progressively infect other organs: the uterus, uterine lining, fallopian tubes and/or ovaries. PID can result in chronic pain and ectopic pregnancy or permanent sterility.
PID can also turn into peritonitis – a life-threatening condition – or into a tubo-ovarian abscess. It can affect the bowel or the liver. And in the most extreme cases, untreated PID can result in death.
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