Causes Of Pelvic Inflammatory Disease: Its Symptoms And Prevention

Pelvic inflammatory disease is defined as inflammation of lining of uterus, fallopian tubes or ovaries. Inflammation occurs due to infection which could be viral, fungal or parasitic but most often it is bacterial. Scarring, adhesion and infertility can occur due to pelvic inflammatory disease. Hence one should consult the doctor and start treatment immediately.

The most common cause of pelvic inflammatory disease is sexually transmitted infection. Bacteria which cause chlamydia and gonorrhea are responsible for pelvic inflammatory disease also. Bacteria travel upwards from vagina and cervix to uterus, fallopian tubes and ovaries and cause infection.

Adolescent girls who are active sexually, women having sex with multiple partners or having unprotected sex or women whose partner has sexually transmitted infection are more likely to develop pelvic inflammatory disease.

Bacteria may enter the body during surgical procedures such as elective abortion, insertion of intrauterine device, delivery of baby, miscarriage and endometrial biopsy.

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease Symptoms

  • Patient may remain asymptomatic for a long period.
  • Patient may have pain in lower abdomen, fever and chills. It may be associated with nausea, vomiting and loss of appetite.
  • Sometimes there is tenderness in lower abdomen. Sometimes referred pain is felt in lower back.
  • Vaginal discharge may have abnormal color and odor.
  • Patient experiences pain during intercourse. There may be bleeding after intercourse.
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease may be associated with irregular menses or even amenorrhoea. Increased abdominal pain is felt during menses.
  • It can be associated with painful and frequent urination. There is lack of energy. Patient is easily fatigued.

Complications Of PID

If not treated promptly it may lead to various complications. Damage to reproductive system may result leading to chronic pelvic pain.

Pelvic inflammatory disease causes scarring inside the reproductive organs. This may lead to adhesion. Due to this infertility or ectopic pregnancy can occur.

Ectopic pregnancy is life threatening situation.

Infection can spread into peritoneum and cause peritonitis which is also very dangerous. If infection spreads to liver then there will be multiple scar formation on the external surface of the liver.

Diagnosis Of PID

Pelvic examination by doctor shows easy bleeding from cervix. Patient experiences pain with the movement of cervix. Uterus may be swollen and tender to touch.

  • Blood test is done for complete blood count and ESR.
  • Test for C-reactive protein is conducted.
  • Pelvic ultrasound is done to rule out appendicitis and also to look for other infection in the vicinity.
  • Vaginal or cervical culture is done.

How To Treat And Prevent Pelvic Inflammatory Disease?

As soon as you notice any symptom, consult your doctor.

  • Usually pelvic inflammatory disease is treated with antibiotics.
  • Surgical intervention may be necessary to restore fertility.
  • Patient may need hospitalization to treat life threatening situations.
  • Partner should undergo treatment if he is having any sexually transmitted infection.
  • Counseling is done for the women who have suffered from pelvic inflammatory disease as there may be fear of redeveloping the infection after being cured.
  • Protect yourself from sexually transmitted infection by practicing safe sex. Use condom during intercourse.
  • Practice monogamy. Do not have sex with multiple partners.
  • Talk to your partner if he has any sexually transmitted infection. Get yourself and partner screened regularly to prevent infection or to detect infection at early stage.
  • Avoid intercourse for few days after delivery or miscarriage or abortion.

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