Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)

This is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) caused by bacterial infections including gonorrhea and chlamydia leading to infection of the vagina, womb and including your internal reproductive organs such as your tubes and ovaries. This could lead to inflammation and if it is not treated with antibiotics it could cause scar tissue formation and long term damage.
2.          What are the symptoms of PID?
  • Minimal symptoms or no symptoms at all
  • Abnormal vaginal discharge
  • Lower abdominal pain
  • Fever
  • Pain during sexual intercourse
  • Bleeding in between your periods or after sexual intercourse
3.          How is the diagnosis of PID made?
Based on your symptoms your doctor may suspect PID and take some blood test or swabs from your cervix to confirm the diagnosis of PID. However, as some women have either no or minimal symptoms PID infection may go undetected and untreated causing long term damage.
4.          Who are at risk of getting PID?
  • Having unprotected sexual intercourse
  • Multiple sexual partners
5.          What are the possible complications associated with PID?
If the acute infection of PID is not treated, the inflammation may lead to formation of scar tissue and damage to the reproductive organs. Long term complications include:
  • Infertility
  • Chronic pelvic pain
  • Increase risk of developing an ectopic pregnancy due to underlying damage to the fallopian tube.
  • Abnormal menstrual bleeding
6.          What is the treatment for PID?
[easyazon-image align=”left” asin=”0597833052″ locale=”us” height=”160″ src=”” width=”120″]Your doctor will prescribe your with usually 2 combination of antibiotics taken orally to treat the infections.  If the PID infection is severe you may need to be admitted to hospital to be treated with intravenous antibiotics. However, if you are not treated, you will develop long term complications such as chronic pelvic pain or infertility other treatment may need to be given to treat each condition respectively. In addition, it is important that your sexual partner gets treated with antibiotics as well. Tracing of you and your sexual partners for the last 6 months may be done by your doctor. You should avoid having sexual intercourse until both you and your partner have completed the course of antibiotics.
7.          Will the treatment for PID affect my contraception?
  • If you are on oral contraceptive pill, you need to use additional contraceptive measures such as the condom while you are taking the antibiotics and for 7 days after completing the treatment. This is because the antibiotics may reduce the effectiveness of the oral contraceptive pill.
  • If you have an intrauterine device (IUD) then you may need the IUD to be removed if it is a severe PID infection.
8.          How could I avoid getting PID?
  • Practice monogamous sexual relationship.
  • Practice safe sex e.g use condoms. However, this only reduces the risk of getting PID up to 50% but does not totally prevent it.
Acute pelvic inflammatory disease. Royal College Obsetricians and Gynaecologists United Kingdom Green Top Guideline 32, November 2008.


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