Pelvic Inflammatory Disease

By BSc, MSc (embryologist) and BA, MA (fertility counselor).
Last Update: 07/21/2014

The Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID), are inflammatory processes located in the upper area of the reproductive system, in the tubes, the ovaries, the uterus. It can also affect other areas, the ligaments, for instance. It is prevalent in women aged between 15 and 39.

The different sections of this article have been assembled into the following table of contents.

Causes of PID

The different pelvic inflammatory diseases as salpingitis or oophoritis, are a consequence of a germs invasion that begins in the lower area of the reproductive system and goes up. It is a disease that can become chronic if not treated correctly. PID is originated by infections of different kinds:

  • Sexually-trasnmitted infections: the sexually-transmitted germen that can cause PID Chlamydia trachomatis, Neisseria gonorrhoeae and Mycoplasma hominis. Sexual habits such as precocity or promiscuity are factors that can facilitate the disease.
  • Changes in the vaginal flora: bacteries and aerobics can alter the vaginal flora. This is in fact, one of the most frequent scenarios for contracting PID. The vaginal flora is also damaged by frequent vaginal douches.
  • Intrauterine contraceptives: oral contraceptives decrease the risk of contracting PID. The IUD, on the other hand, increases it.
  • Menstruation: Cyclic changes in the cervical mucus.
  • Intrauterine explorations.

Pelvic inflammation disease

Diagnose of PID

It can be hard to diagnose these kind of diseases. The procedures used to do so are a transvaginal color Doppler and the laparoscopy..

Germs are detected by watching the aspect of the cervix and through bacterial cultures.

Symptoms of PID

Some important symptoms are:

  • Fever
  • Pain in the pelvis or sensitive pelvis, the lower abdomen or lumbar area.
  • Colored, abnormal or smelly vaginal discharges.

Other symptoms associated with PID:

  • Bleeding after sexual intercourse
  • Shivers
  • Tiredness
  • Pain when urating
  • Constant urge to urinate
  • Intense or prolonged cramps
  • Altered period
  • Loss of appetite/li>
  • Nauseas
  • Vomiting
  • Amenorreha: absence of menstruation
  • Dyspareunia: Painful sexual relations

Cell culture of the cervix

Effects of the PID

The effects the PID can cause are:

  • Mortality: risk of mortality disappears once the treatment with antibiotc is started.
  • Chronic pelvic pain: in case the treatment is not appropriate.
  • Esterility: one of the most important effects.
  • Ectopic pregnancy: the pshysiological alteration of the tubes may interfere in the way of the embryo to the uterus, affecting its implantation.

Treatment for PID

If the PID is not severe, the treatment of choice includes the use of cephalosporins and doxycilin and the parenteral administration of clindamycin or gentaicin.

Stage III cases are usually treated with antibiotics, in case this is not enough, a surgical drain is performed.

On the other hand, stage IV cases will require an urgency intervention, being factors to be aware of age and fertility of the patient.

A good diagnosis is essential, and the application of a proper treatment so that the condition does not get worse. It is very important to visit the specialist in case there are distresses or ailments.

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Authors and contributors

 Neus Ferrando Gilabert
Neus Ferrando Gilabert
BSc, MSc
Bachelor's Degree in Biology from the University of Valencia (UV). Postgraduate Course in Biotechnology of Human Assisted Reproduction from the Miguel Hernández University of Elche (UMH). Experience managing Embryology and Andrology Labs at Centro Médico Manzanera (Logroño, Spain). More information about Neus Ferrando Gilabert
Adapted into english by:
 Sandra Fernández
Sandra Fernández
Fertility Counselor
Bachelor of Arts in Translation and Interpreting (English, Spanish, Catalan, German) from the University of Valencia (UV) and Heriot-Watt University, Riccarton Campus (Edinburgh, UK). Postgraduate Course in Legal Translation from the University of Valencia. Specialist in Medical Translation, with several years of experience in the field of Assisted Reproduction. More information about Sandra Fernández

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