Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)- Women’s Health Issues

Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is an infection of the female reproductive organs. It usually occurs when sexually transmitted bacteria spread from your vagina to your uterus, fallopian tubes or ovaries.

Pelvic inflammatory disease often causes no signs or symptoms. As a result, you might not realize you have the condition and get needed treatment. The condition might be detected later if you have trouble getting pregnant or if you develop chronic pelvic pain.

Symptoms

Signs and symptoms of pelvic inflammatory disease might include:

  • Pain in your lower abdomen and pelvis
  • Heavy vaginal discharge with an unpleasant odor
  • Abnormal uterine bleeding, especially during or after intercourse, or between menstrual cycles
  • Pain or bleeding during intercourse
  • Fever, sometimes with chills
  • Painful or difficult urination

Treatment

Treatments for pelvic inflammatory disease include:

  • Antibiotics. Your doctor will prescribe a combination of antibiotics to start immediately. After receiving your lab test results, your doctor might adjust your prescription to better match what’s causing the infection. You will likely follow up with your doctor after three days to make sure the treatment is working.Be sure to take all of your medication, even if you start to feel better after a few days. Antibiotic treatment can help prevent serious complications but can’t reverse any damage.
  • Treatment for your partner. To prevent reinfection with an STI, your sexual partner or partners should be examined and treated. Infected partners might not have any noticeable symptoms.
  • Temporary abstinence. Avoid sexual intercourse until treatment is completed and tests indicate that the infection has cleared in all partners.

Diagnosis

Doctors diagnose pelvic inflammatory disease based on signs and symptoms, a pelvic exam, an analysis of vaginal discharge and cervical cultures, or urine tests.During the pelvic exam, doctor will first check your pelvic region for signs and symptoms of PID. Doctor might then use cotton swabs to take samples from your vagina and cervix. The samples will be analyzed at a lab to determine the organism that’s causing the infection.To confirm the diagnosis or to determine how widespread the infection is, your doctor might recommend other tests, such as:

  • Blood and urine tests. These tests will measure your white blood cell count, which might indicate an infection, and markers that suggest inflammation. Your doctor also might recommend tests for HIV and sexually transmitted infections, which are sometimes associated with PID.
  • Ultrasound. This test uses sound waves to create images of your reproductive organs.
  • Laparoscopy. During this procedure, your doctor inserts a thin, lighted instrument through a small incision in your abdomen to view your pelvic organs.