Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)

Pelvic inflammatory disease, also known as PID, affects around 1 million women in the United States every year. Your female reproductive organs become infected when bacteria from your vagina, often from a sexually transmitted disease, spreads to your upper genital tract. If left untreated, PID can lead to ectopic pregnancies or infertility. Symptoms may include painful periods or urination, a dull pain in your lower abdomen, yellow or green odorous vaginal discharges, fever, chills, or vomiting. PID can be treated with antibiotics. However, when an abscess occurs, treatment may require surgery to prevent widespread infection.

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    Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) doesn't affect men because it's an infection of the fallopian tubes and uterus. It develops when bacteria move from the vagina up into the upper reproductive organs. Many times, these bacteria are sexually transmitted, and STDs like gonorrhea and chlamydia may lead to PID. Obviously, it's possible for men to have those STDs, and they can spread the responsible bacteria to a woman. However, it's not possible for those STDs to develop into PID in men like they can in women.

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    A OBGYN (Obstetrics & Gynecology), answered on behalf of
    Yes, Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) is a serious medical condition.  If left untreated, PID can cause scar tissue inside the uterus and in the pelvis.  Tubal pregnancies and infertility can occur.  If the infection is left untreated, PID can require hospitalization and even surgery in severe cases.  It is important to seek medical care as soon as you suspect PID.  Finish the complete course of antibiotics prescribed.  A follow-up examination is important to assure resolution.  
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    Although testing for pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is usually done only if a woman has noticeable symptoms, it's a good idea to be tested for sexually transmitted diseases on a regular basis. STDs such as chlamydia and gonorrhea are common causes of PID, so if you're at risk, you should be tested regularly. People at high risk may include sexually active women under the age of 25, and women who have unprotected sex with multiple partners. If STDs are caught early, the chance that they will develop into PID is decreased. Talk to your doctor about getting tested.

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    Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) starts when bacteria enter the female reproductive organs, usually as a result of a sexually transmitted disease. Sometimes, bacteria that are normally found in the vagina overgrow and spread to the fallopian tubes or uterus. When bacteria enter these areas, they cause infection that may spread to the ovaries, or it may produce abscesses or pus-filled pockets in the fallopian tubes. Sometimes the infection may not cause any noticeable symptoms, but other times it may lead to vaginal discharge, abnormal menstrual bleeding, and abdominal or pelvic pain. As the infection progresses, it may cause severe pain, fever, and vomiting. Eventually, the infection may spread to surrounding internal structures like the lining of the abdominal cavity and organs. Other times, the infection can produce scar tissue that leads to infertility.

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    Symptoms of pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) can vary. PID may have severe or mild symptoms, and sometimes there are no symptoms. Common symptoms are lower abdominal or pelvic pain, fever, vaginal discharge and pain or bleeding with intercourse.  
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    Pelvic inflammatory disease itself is not necessarily contagious, but many of the bacteria that cause it are contagious. PID develops when bacteria move from the vagina into the upper reproductive organs. These bacteria may be spread through sexual contact - PID is commonly caused by the bacteria responsible for gonorrhea and chlamydia. In some cases, though, the infection may be caused by bacteria that are normally found in the vagina. These bacteria aren't contagious. In general, reduce your risk of getting an STD that can lead to PID by using a condom and limiting your number of sex partners.

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    The treatment options for pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) are antibiotics. In severe cases you may be hospitalized and given intravenous antibiotics. In less severe cases, oral antibiotics are prescribed. If not treated early, PID can cause scar tissue formation, which can lead to infertility and long-term pain. 
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    It's a common misconception that the use of an intrauterine device (IUD) increases the risk of developing pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). The risk of developing PID is minimally increased during the first 20 days after insertion of the device, but after that time, the risk returns to baseline. This risk can be reduced by testing women for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) before IUD insertion and treating appropriately. IUDs are an extremely safe and effective means of preventing pregnancy, with less than 1% unintended pregnancies per year.
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    IIf it's caught and treated early, pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) generally doesn't cause any complications. However, if left untreated, it may cause serious complications. The infection may cause scarring in the fallopian tubes, which can lead to infertility. In fact, a 100,000 women who get PID will become infertile each year. Scar tissue may also increase the chances of ectopic pregnancy, which is a serious condition in which the fertilized egg can't travel into the uterus and becomes stuck in the fallopian tubes. In some cases, PID may lead to chronic pelvic pain that can last for years. To prevent these potential complications, talk to your doctor right away if you notice any symptoms that may be caused by PID.
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    Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) can be painful in some cases. Some of the first symptoms of PID may include pain in the lower abdomen or pain during menstruation or intercourse. As the infection progresses, the pelvic or abdominal pain may become more severe. However, in many cases PID doesn't cause any noticeable symptoms.

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