Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) is caused by bacteria that spread from the vagina or cervix through the uterus to the fallopian tubes. The bacteria attack the inner walls of the tubes. Infection forms inside these tubes and may leak into the pelvic cavity and onto the ovaries. The affected tissue becomes red and swollen. If the fallopian tubes become blocked with scar tissue, the woman could be unable to have children. These scarred tubes can increase the chances of an ectopic (tubal) pregnancy.
Women with PID usually experience pain in the lower abdomen, backache, cramping, and/or pain during intercourse. Menstrual periods may become irregular, heavier, shorter, or longer than usual. Fever, chills, loss of appetite and energy, or nausea could also be present. Sometimes painful or difficult urination occurs.
PID is the name for a group of symptoms caused by bacteria, usually the same ones that cause Chlamydia and Gonorrhea. PID itself cannot be passed to a sexual partner, but the bacteria which causes PID can be transmitted.
The diagnosis of PID is made on the symptoms present and by ruling out other possible medical problems. A test can be done to identify the bacteria causing the infection, but is usually not known at the time treatment is started. Therefore, an antibiotic active against a wide range of bacteria is used.
Antibiotics are used to treat PID. Rest, drinking fluids, and eating a well-balanced diet are also important. Generally, you will begin to feel much better within a few days. However, YOU MUST FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS GIVEN WITH THE MEDICATION AND TAKE ALL THE PILLS in order to treat this type of infection. Sometimes hospitalization is necessary.
You should not have intercourse until you have been checked by the doctor after you finish your treatment.
Use of a condom (rubber) during sexual intercourse is the best way to help prevent getting some sexually transmitted diseases (infections). There is evidence to conclude condoms prevent HIV transmission in males and females, and that they could reduce the risk of Gonorrhea for men. Additional studies are needed to determine effectiveness for other STDs, including the germs that cause Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID).
The more sexual partners you have, the greater your chance of getting an infection.
Do not have intercourse with anyone who has an infection or is being treated for an infection.
Do not use feminine sprays or douches. They can change the normal balance of bacteria in the vagina and increase your chances of getting a vaginal infection.