We doubt most of you have heard of pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) but it’s a crippling condition affecting many women today.
PID is an infection in women’s reproductive organs that targets the fallopian tubes, uterus, and ovaries, that can lead to chronic pain, infertility and ectopic pregnancy (where the baby develops outside the uterus, usually in the fallopian tubes).
It often has no symptoms, making it extremely difficult to diagnose and treat. If treatment is delayed, the risk of long-term complications is fair greater.
So, how do you get it?
PID usually occurs when bacteria travels up through the vagina or cervix, into the reproductive organs. Many different types of bacteria can cause it, but it’s most often the result of STI’s – particularly chlamydia and gonorrhoea. This amounts to one-third to half of cases.
It is essential that if you have an STI you get immediate treatment. This will help prevent the potential of getting PID.
Another way PID is contracted is by an overgrowth of normal bacteria found in the vagina or procedures like abortion and an IUD inserted.
PID can be treated by antibiotics, but in some cases, the reproductive organs can be scarred from the infection. This can lead to a condition called tubal factor infertility, where the fallopian tubes become damaged or completely blocked.
The most common symptoms are:
- Pain in the lower abdomen
- Sex is often painful
- Irregular periods
- Pain when urinating
- Abnormal vaginal discharge
The most effective way to diagnose PID is by laparoscopic surgery, where a tiny camera examines inside the pelvis. Regular STI screenings is essential, as well as safe sex. A pap test won’t detect PID.
As PID is not widely known, a lot of women delay seeking treatment, or are sometimes misdiagnosed.
The most important thing is to trust your gut instinct and seek professional medical advice as soon as possible.
VIDEO: Don't talk a shortcut on an escalator