Pelvic Inflammatory Disease is an infection of the female reproductive system (FPS). The female reproductive system is located in the pelvis which is the lower abdomen and consists of the ovaries, fallopian tubes, uterus, and cervix. PID is a localized physical condition in which parts of the FPS become reddened, swollen, hot, and often painful as a reaction to injury or infection. Though is it commonly transmitted through sexual intercourse, it is not limited to that. In common cases, the disease usually starts from the vagina, and if left untreated or not treated on time, spreads to other parts of the reproductive system.
In Nigeria there are over a hundred thousand reported cases every year. Considering the indulgence in sexual activity by the youth, it is safe to put the actual figures, adding largely unreported cases, to about five hundred thousand every year, and that’s being modest. In the United States, there are about a million cases of Pelvic Inflammatory Diseases every year.
PID can be caused by different bacteria including those that cause STIs, Gonorrhoea, and Chlamydia. Though some women may also have PID without ever having an STI. Risk factors include:
- Having multiple sex partners.
- Engaging in unprotected sex. (Having sex without using a condom or other means of protection).
- Using an Intrauterine device (IUD) to prevent pregnancy.
- Having sex under the age of 25
- A history of Pelvic Inflammatory Disease.
- Ectopic pregnancy
- Chronic pelvic pain
Some women don’t have symptoms but some do. The symptoms include:
- Pain in the upper abdomen.
- Pain in the lower abdomen (That’s the most common symptom)
- Painful sex
- Painful menstruation
- Painful urination
- Increased or foul-smelling vaginal discharge
- Irregular bleeding
Severe symptoms include:
- Sharp pain in the abdomen
- High fever greater than 38.3oc or 101oF
Tests to confirm diagnosis include:
Basic treatments include antibiotic prescriptions. Your doctor may prescribe two types of antibiotics if unsure of the actual bacteria that caused it. Depending on the severity, patients can be placed in Intravenous PID regime.
- Avoid douching.
- Practise safe sex.
- Wipe from front to back after using the toilet or bathroom. This is to prevent bacteria from making its way into the vagina.
- Get tested for sexually transmitted diseases in order to get immediate treatment.