Every year in the United States, thousands of women experience pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), and about 10-15% of those women will encounter challenges with conception. PID is an infection which occurs in a woman’s reproductive organs. Unfortunately, this condition often goes unnoticed because symptoms are often vague and masked by other causes.
Symptoms of PID
Bacteria from the vagina or cervix can move toward the reproductive organs and cause infection. There are many types of bacteria associated with PID; however, most often, bacteria from sexually transmitted diseases are the cause. Chlamydia and gonorrhea are the most common sources of this infection. Symptoms include:
- lower abdominal pain
- vaginal discharge
- painful intercourse
- painful urination
PID symptoms develop over time and may be so mild that they go unnoticed. As the infection worsens, symptoms may increase. Sometimes they will appear suddenly. Whenever these symptoms are present, it is important to see a doctor right away. Early diagnosis of PID reduces the risk of infertility and other serious conditions.
Causes of PID
While many cases of PID are due to infections caused by sexually transmitted disease, there are other causes as well. Women who douche are at a higher risk for PID. Douching can push bacteria from the vagina into the reproductive tract. Once there, a harmful overgrowth of bacteria can occur, causing infection in the reproductive organs.
Intrauterine devices (IUDs) also increase the risk for PID, but the risk is small. The most likely time for PID to develop is during the first three weeks of placement of the IUD.
Once the infection has been identified, the first line of attack is antibiotics. Your doctor may prescribe oral antibiotics. More severe infections may require antibiotic injections or IV. If a fallopian tube or one of the ovaries has an abscess, you may need to be hospitalized.
Early diagnosis and treatment are important. PID has been known to increase risk for ectopic pregnancy. PID can also cause scarring, which can make conception more difficult.
PID can result in permanent damage to the reproductive system. The doctors at Neway Fertility can help. Contact our office today to schedule your appointment with one of our fertility specialists.