PID (Pelvic Inflammatory Disease)
What is PID (Pelvic Inflammatory Disease)?
PID occurs when certain bacteria, such as Chlamydia or Gonorrhea, move upward from a woman’s vagina or cervix (opening to the uterus) into her reproductive organs.
PID symptoms are:
- Vaginal discharge
- Burning during urination
- Abdominal or pelvic pain
- Pain during sexual intercourse
- Bleeding between menstrual cycles.
PID can lead to serious consequences including infertility.
How is PID tested?
PID is difficult to diagnose because the symptoms are often subtle and mild. Many episodes of PID go undetected due to nonspecific symptoms. If symptom such as lower abdominal pain is present, a health care provider should perform a physical examination to determine the nature and location of the pain. Also, your doctor may check for fever, abnormal vaginal discharge and order tests to identify the evidence of Gonorrheal or Chlamydia infection. If the findings suggest PID, treatment is necessary.
A pelvic ultrasound is a helpful procedure for diagnosing PID. An ultrasound can view the pelvic area to see whether the fallopian tubes are enlarged or whether an abscess is present. In some cases, a laparoscopy may be necessary to confirm the diagnosis. A laparoscopy is a surgical procedure in which a thin, rigid tube with a lighted end and camera (laparoscope) is inserted through a small incision in the abdomen. This procedure enables the doctor to view the internal pelvic organs and to take specimens for laboratory studies, if needed.
How is PID treated?
If a woman has pelvic pain and other symptoms of PID, it is critical that she will seek care immediately. PID can be cured with several types of antibiotics. Our doctors will determine and prescribe the best therapy. Prompt antibiotic treatment can prevent severe or permanent damage to reproductive organs, or becoming infertile. However, antibiotic treatment does not reverse any damage that has already occurred to the reproductive organs.
The symptoms may go away before the infection is cured. Even if symptoms go away, the woman should finish taking all of the prescribed medicine. This will help prevent the infection from returning. Women being treated for PID should come back for a follow up visit to be sure that antibiotics have worked. In addition, your sex partner should be treated to decrease the risk of re-infection.