It is human nature to search for numerous sexual partners. Though it may be enjoyable for some time, it invariably leads to complications later on in life. It is usually seen that the male species of the human is the one who is more promiscuous. His sexual forays can also result in his partner contacting sexually transmitted diseases. One such serious complication is Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID). This is an infection of the female reproductive organs. It can lead to irreversible damage to the women’s reproductive organs and is the primary cause of infertility in women.
The vital function of cervix is to prevent bacteria from entering into vagina there by prevents spreading of bacteria into the internal organs. Cervix functionality will be affected in case of any infection to the cervix itself, it will be less affective in performing its function. Thus untreated gonorrhea and Chlamydia are the main causes of Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID).
The symptoms of PID may vary from person to person. But the main symptoms are as follows.
- Dull pain in the lower abdomen or tenderness in stomach
- Intense pain to the right of upper abdomen
- Vaginal discharge which is abnormal usually in yellow or green with unusual odour
- Pain while urinating
- High fever accompanied by chills
- Nausea and prolonged vomiting
- One feels pain in sexual intercourse
The following signs experienced by a woman may require further investigation as it could lead to PID.
- Dull pain around the pelvic area
- Discomfort felt during sexual intercourse leading to pain in the pelvic area.
- Painful urination
- Bleeding between periods and especially after sex
- Heavy and painful periods
- An unusual green or yellow foul smelling vaginal discharge.
Once you suspect PID then the following tests have to be carried out to confirm the same.
- Conduction of pregnancy test to rule out ectopic pregnancy
- Blood tests which include complete blood count, sedimentation and C-reactive protein test.
- Blood and urine culture test can also be done.
- Ultrasound imaging can also determine presence of Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)
- Laparoscopy where the doctor inserts a lighted viewing instrument into the body to check for signs of infection.
- MRI or CT scan.
General physician will diagnose PID through detailed examination of your general health and by looking at the history of your health and also your sexual activity. The doctor will go for pelvic examination to find an evidence of infection by Gonorrhea and Chlamydia. On a thorough examination she will be able to check for vaginal discharges and other symptoms. In case she suspects PID, she will have to investigate further by ordering Blood tests, MRI/CT Scan and an ultrasound examination.
On confirmation of PID, you should follow the doctor’s advice on all matters. Proper follow-up care can cure PID and prevent it from causing further problems. Do as the doctor directs you to do. To avoid any re-infection, get your partner treated as well. You should follow your doctor’s advice diligently.
The only way to prevent Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) is to avoid sexual intercourse. However a woman who has only one partner who too is not infected with STD has little risk of being affected by the disease. Condoms provide protection against STD’s. So, always ensure that your partner wears one while indulging in sex. As the main cause of PID is linked to STD’s it becomes imperative that the partner too gets treatment. A woman who has contacted PID should not have sex till her partners get treated.
PID is not necessarily contagious but the bacteria that cause it are definitely so. PID occurs only when bacteria move from the vagina to the reproductive organs. As these bacteria might spread through sexual contact, it is better if the partner wears a condom during sex or he may risk infecting another woman in case he has multiple partners. He too may get infected with gonorrhea.
There are many types of PID as one may observe below.
- Acute PID
- Chronic PID
- Gonococcal PID – PID from gonorrhea
- Chlamydia PID – PID from Chlamydia
- Atypical PID – Very mild form of PID
- Silent PID – No visible symptoms usually contacted through Chlamydia
- Symptomatic PID – Noticeable symptoms
Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) if untreated can cause scar tissue and collection of fluid in your fallopian tubes and damage your reproductive organs. The complications which could result include;
- Ectopic Pregnancy : The fertilized egg is unable to find its way to the uterus through the fallopian tube and hence can cause bleeding and may require urgent surgery.
- Infertility : PID can severely damage your reproductive organs and is the main cause of infertility.
- Chronic Pelvic Pain : The pain can last for months and cause scarring of the fallopian tubes and cause pain during sexual intercourse.
Home Remedies :
Every disease in the world has home remedies. So too does PID. The natural remedies for PID are as follows.
- Vitamin C : The cervix requires vitamin C to make collagen. This is required to tighten the cervix and prevent bacterial infection. Hence you should take foods rich in Vitamin C such as citrus fruits, strawberries, broccoli and herbal tea.
- Plain Sugarless Yogurt : PID is caused by the bacteria known as “Gardnerella vaginalis”. Lactobacillus kills these bacteria and hence applying yogurt to the vulva and leaving it for about three hours for three days can cure PID.
- Sitz Bath : A Sitz bath can relieve PID by alternating a cold or lukewarm water soak with a hot water soak in the tub.
The primary treatment for Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) is a regular course of antibiotics. As PID is caused by more than one type of bacteria, a combination of antibiotics may be necessary. It can be taken orally or intravenously. However you should ensure that you complete the full course even if the symptoms have disappeared midway through the course. Certain cases require hospitalization where the antibiotics are fed intravenously. In very rare cases where you have an abscess you may require surgery, otherwise antibiotics alone can cure you of PID.
Exercise caution while having sex and always insist on your partner to wear condoms. It is for your own safety.