Things You Should Aware of Pelvic Inflammatory Disease: Symptoms, Causes & Prevention

Tanuja Bisht

, Health A2Z

Like any other disease, the pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is also a harmful disease related to females. In medical terms, the disease is defined as an infection of the female reproductive organs. The disease usually occurs when sexually transmitted bacteria spread from the vagina to the uterus, ovaries, and fallopian tubes.


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The disease often causes no signs or symptoms in the initial stages, but as a result, a person might not realize the condition and need the treatment. In some cases, the condition might be detected later when the patient faces trouble in getting pregnant or if she develops chronic pelvic pain.




What is Pelvic Inflammatory Disease?


The pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is defined as an infection in the reproductive organs of women which is sexually transmitted through bacteria. The pelvis is basically the lower abdomen which includes the fallopian tubes, cervix, ovaries, and uterus.


There are several different types of bacteria that can cause PID such as gonorrhea and chlamydia (these bacteria also responsible for sexually transmitted infections). The bacteria first enter into the vagina and cause an infection. As time passes, this infection can also move into the pelvic organs like the uterus, uterine tubes, and cervix.




What are the Symptoms of Pelvic Inflammatory Disease?


Several signs and symptoms of this disease might include:


  • Pain in the lower abdomen and pelvis



  • Heavy vaginal discharge with an unpleasant odor


  • Pain or bleeding during intercourse



  • Painful or difficulty in urination



  • Bleeding or spotting between periods


  • Frequent urination


  • Irregular menstruation





What are the Causes of Pelvic Inflammatory Disease?


Following are some of the causes of this disease,


  • It usually starts with an infection in the vagina that further spreads to the cervix, fallopian tubes and the ovaries.


  • The cause of this infection can be bacterial, parasitic, or fungal but usually involve one or more types of bacteria.


  • The most common cause of this disease is sexually transmitted bacteria including chlamydia and gonorrhea.




What are the Risk Factors for Pelvic Inflammatory Disease?


There are several factors that might increase the risk of this infection, including:


  • Being a sexually active woman (mostly younger than 24-25 years old).


  • Being in a sexual relationship with a person having more than one intercourse partner.


  • Having multiple sexual partners.


  • Having intercourse without protection.


  • Having a history of the sexually transmitted infection or the pelvic inflammatory disease.


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What are the Treatments for Pelvic Inflammatory Disease?


Following are some of the options for treating the disease;


Early treatment of this disease, decreases the chances of developing complications like infertility in women.


1. Antibiotic Treatment:


The very first treatment is with an antibiotic. It is important to follow the instructions and complete a course that usually lasts 14 days.


The infection often involves more than one type of bacteria so the patient may have to take different kinds of antibiotics together. If tests show, due to which bacteria the disease is caused than more targeted therapy is possible.


Some of the antibiotics for this infection include cefoxitin, ceftriaxone, doxycycline, and metronidazole.


If the antibiotics do not make any kind of difference within 3 days, the patient should seek further help from her doctor.



2. Hospitalization and Surgery


Hospitalization: Hospitalization is only in the case when a woman with the pelvic inflammatory disease is pregnant or shows some very severe symptoms. In the hospital, she might be given some intravenous medication.


Surgery: This is only needed when there is a mark on the fallopian tubes. It may also involve removal of one or both fallopian tubes.


Some doctors do not prefer the removal of both fallopian tubes, because after this the woman will not be able to get pregnant naturally.


The woman’s sexual partner need to seek treatment for the sexually transmitted infections (STIs). If the partner has an STI, there can be a risk of recurrence of this disease.


The patient should refrain from intercourse until the treatment is completed.




What are the Preventions for Pelvic Inflammatory Disease?


Some of the following prevention of this disease include;


  • Practice safe intercourse.


  • Talking to your doctor about contraception.


  • Get tested regarding the risk of an STI like chlamydia.


  • Avoid douching (because douching upsets the balance of bacteria in the vagina)






The pelvic inflammatory disease is not so common, but full awareness regarding this disease is very important as it can prevent you from this deadly infection.


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