Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
Pelvic inflammatory disease, PID (female genital infection) is a general term for infection of the lining of the uterus, fallopian tubes or ovaries.
Signs and Symptoms
The most common symptoms of PID include:
- Pain or tenderness in the pelvis
- Vaginal discharge
- Shaking chills
- Frequent or painful urination
- Increase in menstrual colic
- Irregular menstrual bleeding or spotting
- Nausea with or without vomiting
- Absence of menstruation
- Painful sexual intercourse
Sexual contact without the use of protection is the most common cause of PID.
However, bacteria can also enter the body during some surgical procedures or performed in the clinic, such as:
- Endometrial biopsy
- Insertion of an intrauterine device (IUD)
- Spontaneous abortion
- Elective or therapeutic abortion
Risk Factors Include
- Male sexual partner with gonorrhea or chlamydia
- Multiple sexual partners
- History of any sexually transmitted disease (STD)
- EIP Background
- Recent insertion of an IUD
- Sexual activity during adolescence
Fever and abdominal tenderness may occur. A pelvic examination may show:
- A cervix that bleeds easily
- Cervical discharge
- Pain with the movement of the cervix
- Uterine and ovarian sensitivity
- C reactive protein (PCR)
- Erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR)
- White blood cell count
Other exams include:
- Ultrasound or CT scan
- Human chorionic gonadotropin in serum (pregnancy test)
Treatment and Management
- Often, the doctor will start giving you antibiotics while you wait for the test results.
- If you are diagnosed with milder PID, you will usually receive an antibiotic injection and then send it home with antibiotic pills to take for up to two weeks. You will need to attend to careful monitoring with the doctor.
- More severe cases of PID may require hospitalization. Antibiotics are administered first intravenously and then orally afterward. The antibiotic to be used depends on the type of infection.
- Many different antibiotics can be used to treat this type of infection. Some are safe for pregnant women.
- Complicated cases that do not improve with antibiotics may need surgery.