PID can affect the uterus, fallopian tubes, and/or the ovaries. It can lead to pelvic adhesions and scar tissue that develops between internal organs, causing ongoing pelvic pain and the possibility of an ectopic pregnancy. Left untreated, infertility can develop and might also lead to chronic infection. In addition, if PID is not diagnosed early enough, peritonitis and inflammation of the walls of the abdominal and pelvic cavity may develop.
What are the most common risk factors for pelvic inflammatory disease?
- Although women of any age can develop PID, sexually active women between the ages of 20 and 31 are at the greatest risk of acquiring the disease through sexually transmitted bacteria.
- Women who use intrauterine devices (IUDs) are also at an increased risk.
What are the symptoms of PID?
The symptoms may resemble other conditions or medical problems. Consult your physician for diagnosis. The following are the most common symptoms diffuse pain and tenderness in the lower abdomen, pelvic pain, increased foul-smelling vaginal discharge, fever and chills, vomiting and nausea and pain during sexual intercourse.
How is PID diagnosed?
- Diagnosis includes a medical history and physical exam.
- In addition some diagnostic procedures may include the following:
- microscopic examination of samples from the vagina and cervix
- Pap test that involves microscopic examination of cells collected from the cervix
- Laparoscopy . Using the laparoscope to see into the pelvic area, the physician can determine the locations, extent, and size of the endometrial growths.
- Culdocentesis – a procedure in which a needle is inserted into the pelvic cavity through the vaginal wall to obtain a sample of pus.
How to treat PID?
Specific treatment will be determined based on your age, overall health, and medical history, cause of the disease, type and severity of the symptoms and your tolerance for specific medications. Generally treatment usually includes oral antibiotics. In cases of severe infection, hospitalization may be required to administer intravenous antibiotics. Occasionally, surgery is necessary.