BENGALURU: Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is an infection in the female reproductive organs: the uterus, fallopian tubes and the ovaries.
It is caused from bacterial infection from the vagina which travels to the womb and adjoining structures.
PID can be caused due to a number of causes, the most significant being, sexually transmitted diseases such as chlamydia and gonorrhoea.
The cervix, which prevents the entry of bacteria to the vagina, gets infected, thereby infecting the uterus and other internal organs. In some cases, the bacteria can be in the neck of the womb for some time without causing symptoms.
When they travel into the womb you become unwell. This is why you might develop PID weeks or months after having sex with an infected person.
Some other causes are childbirth, abortion, pelvic procedures and forgotten tampons in the vagina.
Signs and Symptoms
The issue with a condition such as PID is that most of the time, the symptoms go unnoticed for a long period of time, which aggravates the condition.
Some signs to look out for are:
Pelvic Area Pain
■ Irregular menstrual bleeding
■ Vaginal irritation and abnormal vaginal discharge
■ Pain while urinating
■ Pain during intercourse
■ Fever and vomiting
■ Chronic pelvic pain from
internal scarring and adhesions
■ Infertility necessitating further treatment such as IVF
Treatment for pelvic inflammatory disease involves treating the cause of infection. If diagnosis is done at an early stage, it can be treated effectively using antibiotics.
Since the disease is usually caused by different bacterial agents, a combination of antibiotics is needed for treatment. If the condition is left untreated, it can lead to serious complications. Contact tracing and treatment of partners is very important especially in STD’s.
In more serious cases, antibiotics tend to not be an effective method of treatment because the condition has exacerbated. The worsened condition results in the formation of pus in the inflamed tissue, commonly known as an abscess. The abscess or the organ with the abscess needs to be surgically removed in order to prevent the infection from spreading further to the abdomen or pelvis.
Consultant Gynaecologist and IVF Specialist, Fortis Hospital, Bannerghatta Road