Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID): Signs, Risk Factors, Treatment
A disease that affects around 1 million American women annually, the pelvic inflammatory disease affects the uterus, cervix, fallopian tubes, ovaries and the other female parts in the lower abdomen. The disease develops when the reproductive organs of the patient are infected with the bacteria that is also the culprit in the occurrence of chlamydia and gonorrhea.
Medical professionals warn women about this as the bacterial infection that once has affected the reproductive organ can get into the bloodstream and spread to the other parts of the body. When this happens, the medical condition becomes life-threatening and the patient needs emergency treatment.
As this affects a great number of women in the country, it is important to learn more about this disease in order to immediately address and prevent oneself from suffering its life-threatening complications. Here are some important facts about the pelvic inflammatory disease that every woman should know.
What Are the Signs That You Are Suffering From Pelvic Inflammatory Disease?
Experiencing severe lower abdominal pain is the most common symptom of pelvic inflammatory disease. It is the best indicator that a patient is suffering from this medical condition. The next in line is the pain in the upper abdomen since it signals that the condition can be spreading to the nearby parts of your body. Painful urination, fever, irregular bleeding, and painful sex are the other symptoms to watch for. Extreme fatigue and foul smelling discharge from the vagina are also symptoms of PID.
The symptoms mentioned mostly indicate the initial stage of the condition. When the disease continues to develop, there are additional symptoms that patients can feel. These include the sharp abdominal pain, vomiting, high fever and in some instances fainting. Those who are showing signs that the condition is worsening, calling 911 is highly advisable as these show that the infection is reaching the bloodstream.
Determining the Factors Contributing to the Occurrence of the Medical Condition
As the common saying goes, prevention is better than cure, it is best to determine the factors leading to the development of pelvic inflammatory disease. By doing this, women can be more prepared and be extra careful to save themselves from being a victim of this life threatening medical condition.
One of the most common pelvic inflammatory disease risk factors is having chlamydia, gonorrhea or other sexually transmitted infections. Yet, it does not immediately follow that when you have STI you will have PID. It is just that your risk of having the disease increases.
Other factors that contribute to the development of this condition are being sexually active before reaching the age of 25 and being sexually involved with a lot of people. In addition to this, an unsafe sexual practice, meaning not using a condom during sex will also put a woman at risk for having a pelvic inflammatory disease. Above all, douching, intrauterine device use and experiencing pelvic inflammatory disease in the past compromise the patient, making her more prone to have the condition.
How Do We Prevent Women From Having Pelvic Inflammatory Disease?
In addition to knowing the risk factors, there are ways that patients can try to lessen their risk of having this condition. For instance, practicing safe sex is essential to protect them in case the partner is carrying the infection. Regular testing for sexually transmitted infections will also do good to catch the disease at its early stage. Moreover, preventing douches and ensuring that you clean your private area from front to back after taking a pee are helpful to prevent the bacteria from getting into your reproductive system.
How Do Medical Professionals Diagnose Patients With Pelvic Inflammatory Disease?
Upon learning of the disease symptoms, a medical professional will require the patient to undergo some tests to confirm the suspicion and prevent misdiagnosis. Among the tests that will be requested is the pelvic exam to assess the functioning of her pelvic organs. Urine test is also needed to detect signs of cancer, blood, and other correlated health conditions. Above all, a cervical culture will be requested to confirm infections in the cervix.
Once the suspicion is confirmed, the physician will request more tests to assess the actual damage in the pelvic area as permanent troubles in the reproductive organs can happen because of the disease. Tests that will be done are pelvic ultrasound, laparoscopy as well as endometrial biopsy.
Effective Ways to Treat Patients With Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
Once diagnosed with pelvic inflammatory disease, patients will undergo treatments to avoid life-threatening and other serious impacts from happening. Some of the first line defenses are taking antibiotics to attack the bacteria causing the disease. Medical professionals are emphasizing to patients that the medications are to be continued despite feeling that the symptoms have improved or have been alleviated as stopping them may cause recurrence of the disease.
For pregnant women who are having troubles swallowing medications, it is most likely that they will be recommended to stay at the hospital to treat them of pelvic inflammatory disease. In some cases when hospitalization and antibiotic seem to be not working, undergoing surgery will be advised by your physician. This could be because an abscess has already or about to rupture in your pelvis and may put your life at risk.
Researchers found the bacterial infection to be contagious. So if you are sexually active, it is important that your partner also seek medical treatment. It is also important to have sexual abstinence for some time until you are both treated of the infection.
What Are the Long Term Pelvic Inflammatory Disease Complications?
It is important to treat the disease right away since it could worsen up and cause long term effects. Among these are ectopic pregnancy and infertility. Chronic pelvic pain may also happen if the disease is not cured immediately. Remember, once you are diagnosed with PID, get help as soon as possible to save yourself from regrets in the future as the long term complications are harder to address and have more heartbreaking results.