Pelvic Inflammatory Diseases (PID)
This is a broad term encompassing infections of the female reproductive organs, including the ovary, fallopian tubes, uterus, cervix or the vagina.
The infection is in the pelvic region of the female, hence the term.
Most infections are transferred upwards during sexual activities via the vaginal canal. Therefore, many STDs are covered under the broader class, PID.
Common Modes of Catching a PID
- Most infection are encountered during unprotected sex from an infected partner.
- During procedures like IUD insertion.
- During surgical abortions or child birth.
- Douching, which may push the bacteria upwards into the vaginal tract
- Poor hygiene in the groin area
Common culprits of pelvic infection include chlamydia and gonorrhea, there are many other organisms associated with it.
- Pain in lower abdominal area. The pain is usually dull and constant. It may be tender to touch. Sometimes, the pain is an the upper abdomen, typically on the right side.
- Pain or burning while urinating
- Painful intercourse
- Fever. This may be accompanied with shivering
- Foul smelling discharge form the vagina. The discharge may be altered in its smell, color and consistency.
- Low back ache
- Sometimes, there are no overt signs or symptoms of the condition. The couple may report infertility.
PID is a common cause of infertility now a days. Due to infection in the tubes, inflammation occurs, occluding the fallopian tubes with products of inflammation. Sometimes, thick fibrous bands are formed, which may block the tube for ever.
In a normal course, the egg released from the ovary, travels through the fallopian tube to reach the uterus. When tubes are occluded, the egg is not able to complete its journey.
Also, occluded tubes prevent the sperm from traveling upwards to fertilize with the egg.
PID are culprits in several cases of abortions. They do not let the fetus grow in a healthy way.
Many cases of low back pain are actually due to chronic PID.
Diagnosis is made on the basis of symptoms. Vaginal discharge may be analyzed. A swab may be taken from the vagina or the cervix and send for culture.
In some cases, ultrasound pelvis is required. Endometrial biopsy may be taken.
- Cleaner sex practices are recommended.
- Avoid multiple sexual partners.
- Using clean condoms would prevent most of the infections of that area.
- A course of appropriate antibiotics is given. PID is usually a mixed infection. So a combination regimen of antibiotics may be recommended.
Commonly used medications include doxycycline, ceftriaxone or cefoxitin. Metronidazole may be given to cover the anaerobic bacteria.