The pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is often called the pelvic inflammatory disorder and it is a broad term that indicates a viral, fungal, parasitic or, most commonly, bacterial infection and/or an inflammation of the upper portion of the female genitalia and reproductive system which may involve the uterus or the womb, the fallopian tubes which transport the eggs produced by the ovaries to the uterus, and the ovaries.
The pelvic inflammatory disease is so common that more than one million women are treated yearly in the United States alone, and it is estimated that at least that many more have developed PID but do not seek medical advice for one reason or another. And PID should not be taken lightly as each episode of pelvic inflammatory disease leaves scar tissue on the affected reproductive organs which can lead to severe symptoms and serious complications such as:
- – Infertility. It is calculated that well over 100,000 women become infertile due to complications of PID every year in the United States. Therefore, PID is, on the one hand, America’s most common cause for infertility in women yet, on the other hand, it is also believed to be the most preventable cause of such a woeful malady.
- – Tubal (ectopic) pregnancy which is the number one cause of deaths related to pregnancy throughout the world. Approximately 150 women die of ectopic pregnancies every year in the United States alone.
- – Miscellaneous complications of pregnancy which can lead to miscarriages.
- – Severe chronic pelvic pains.
- – Sores filled with infectious pus (abscesses).
- – Vaginal discharges with very strong odors.
- – Irregularities in menstrual bleedings.
- – High fevers as well as painful intercourse and urination.
- – The PID infection can spread to the peritoneum and lead to inflammation and scarring of the tissues on the surface of the liver. This condition is also known as the Fitz-Hugh-Curtis Syndrome.
Causes and Risk for Developing Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
Since PID is closely associated with sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and sexually transmitted disease (STDs) which are caused by harmful bacteria such as Chlamydia or gonorrhea, women who are most apt to contract STIs and STDs are also at higher risk of developing PID and vice versa. Because the cervix of sexually active teen girls and young women under the age of twenty five is not fully mature yet, they are in the highest risk group for contracting STIs and STDs as well as developing PID.
There are many harmful bacterium, viruses, fungi and parasites which have been blamed for being the direct causes of the pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) but there are also other indirect causes which have strong links and those are: vaginal douching, which is used by women for hygiene purposes, but is harmful and may lead to infections such as PID; the insertions of intrauterine devices (IUDs) which are contraceptive devices; and any number of gynecological events and procedures such as child birth, miscarriages, abortions, biopsies, pap smears and surgeries.
Treating Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
Pelvic inflammatory disease is treated by antibiotics but the type antibiotic and the quantity greatly depends on the cause of the infection and on its severity. In many cases and particularly in women who are pregnant or are in danger of serious and life-threatening complications, PID patients require hospitalization with large doses of antibiotics administered intravenously as well as orally. In order to prevent the reoccurrence of PID and further spreading it, any and all sexual partners of the affected women must also be treated for their infections at the same time.