Pelvic inflammatory infections—- What you need to know?
Most visits to Gynecology units are because of either of the following complaints:
- Pain while having intercourse
- Pain during menstrual periods
- Inability to conceive
- Vaginal discharge
If all these complaints are investigated seriously, cause of more than 50 to 70 % of these complaints is pelvic inflammatory disease. The most important aspect of pelvic inflammatory disease is the severity of complications, which are bound to occur if no treatment is started early.
What is pelvic inflammatory disease?
Pelvic Inflammatory diseases also called PID are a set of symptoms or abnormalities that result in long standing pelvic infections. These pelvic infections are also called sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and most of us are also aware of the most common infections. These are gonorrhea and chlymdia and many others. These infections present with minor or mild symptoms in the beginning and with time become more difficult to treat due to complications.
Risk factors for pelvic infections (infections of reproductive tract in women):
Following women are at risk of developing pelvic infections
- Women with multiple sex partners unprotected sex with multiple sex partners is o e of the strongest risk factors for developing pelvic infections.
- Sex workers sex workers are also at risk of developing pelvic infections due to unsafe sexual practice
Sign and symptoms of pelvic infections:
Following are the sign and symptoms that are seen in women suffering from pelvic infections
- Vaginal discharge this is the most characteristic feature of any pelvic infection and helps a lot in diagnosing the cause of infection on the basis of nature of vaginal discharge.
- Pain during menstruation due to passage of blood or sloughing of the infected tissues.
- Pain during intercourse brings the women to gynecology unit too as pain during intercourse is so severe that it becomes a rift on marriage and sexual relations between partners.
- If pelvic infections are not treated timely, it may lead to tubal scarring that make conception difficult, it is for this reason, most women consult their gynecologist for assessment of infertility.
- Severe pain on the sides of abdomen is also a very familiar complaint that may or may not be associated with menstruation.
- Pelvic infections lead to scarring or thickening of tubes making the passage of egg difficult across the tubes. That’s why most conception or pregnancies couldn’t make it to uterus (for pregnancy) and get buried in tubes leading to ectopic pregnancy (a term denote the occurrence of pregnancy anywhere outside its normal location, i.e. uterus)
What can you do to prevent pelvic Infections?
If you want to avoid pelvic inflammatory disease you have to avoid pelvic infections first.
- Avoid intercourse with multiple partners and avoid performing sex without protection or condoms
- If you have any risk factor for pelvic infections or you develop the sign and symptoms of pelvic infection, consult your physician and treat your infection fully.
- Do not stop antibiotics until the infection is cleared.
- In case of inability to conceive or possible fertility, completely evaluate the functioning of tubes to avoid ectopic pregnancy, which is associated with a high risk of deaths.