Pelvic inflammatory disease is a term which refers to an infection of the reproductive organs in a female. PID is common and a result of a sexually transmitted disease such as gonorrhea or chlamydia. The disease can lead to damage of the fallopian tubes, ovaries and uterus which can have other complications such as abscesses, chronic pelvic pain and infertility. Each year in American more than a million women experience acute PID and more than 100,000 women are rendered infertile as a result. PID is responsible for ectopic pregnancies and more than 150 women can die from the disease or related complications.
PID occurs when bacteria from the vagina get pushed into the reproductive organs and a prior episode of the disease can increase the risks of another episode. The more sexual partners a woman has, the greater chances she has of developing PID, and the disease is much more common in woman under the age of 25 years old. Women that use vaginal douche have a much higher risk of PID because douching can disrupt vaginal flora and make it easier for bacteria to develop in the upper reproductive organs. Women that have an intrauterine device also have a slightly higher than average risk of developing PID, however, if the female is tested prior to insertion the risk can be lowered or erased.
The symptoms of pelvic inflammatory disease can range from mild to severe, to none at all. A woman can experience no symptoms at all and not know she has even had the disease until she goes in for an examination and a physician performs a series of tests. PID can lead to serious complications, but with immediate and appropriate treatment, it can be treated and overcome. The only way to prevent an STD is to practice safe sex by using condoms and other barrier birth control methods, limit sexual partners and to get screened for STD s on a regular basis. To avoid transmitting an STD, a woman should avoid having multiple sexual partners and any future sexual partners should undergo testing prior to having sex. By practicing safe sex and being aware of the symptoms of PID, a woman can protect herself against the disease and preserve her health and fertility.