Preventing Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
PID or Pelvic inflammatory disease is an infection of the reproductive organs of the female. Occurring usually sexually transmitted bacteria from the vagina spread to the uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries. For most women, the symptoms of PID are unnoticeable. The disease can only be detected on the later stages when chronic pelvic pain or trouble getting pregnant become obvious.
Signs and symptoms
Pelvic inflammatory disease is characterized with these signs and symptoms:
- Lower abdominal pain
- Pain in the pelvic area
- Heavy vaginal discharge
- Discharge has unpleasant odor
- Pain during intercourse
- Painful urination
- Irregular menstrual cycle
Most of the time, the signs and symptoms of PID are only minor or none at all, especially when the infection is caused by chlamydia. Run to the ER if you experience the following:
- Severe lower abdominal pain
- Signs of shock, e.g. fainting
Other symptoms like foul-smelling vaginal discharge, bleeding between cycles and painful urination can be linked to an STI or sexually transmitted infection. If these symptoms appear, refrain from having sex and see a doctor. Immediate diagnosis and treatment of STI can prevent complications, such as PID.
Bacterial infections due to sexually transmitted diseases are the most common cause of PID. In some cases, the bacterial infection takes place during the insertion of IUD (intrauterine device), miscarriage, abortion, or childbirth.
To minimize the risk of having pelvic inflammatory disease, practice the following prevention tips:
Practice safe sex. Wearing condoms is a must, especially when you have multiple sexual partner. Ask about your partner’s sexual history and limit the number of sex partners.
Discuss other contraception options with your doctor. Certain contraceptive methods may increase the risk of PID. An IUD or intrauterine device, for instance, may heighten the risk upon insertion of the device. Condoms, on the other hand, protect not only from pregnancy, but also from sexually transmitted infections.
Get tested regularly. If you have a high risk of getting STI (e.g. multiple sexual partners), setting a regular screening schedule is advised. Regular testing will make early treatment possible.
Don’t douche. To prevent imbalance of bacteria in the vagina, do not douche. Maintain a good vaginal hygiene and always wipe from front to back to prevent unwanted bacteria from spreading.
A PID diagnosis often happens when STI or sexually transmitted infection is present. When you find out you have STI, it is usually traumatic. However, putting your shock on hold is necessary in order to address the problem first: get treated and prevent infection from recurring. If the pelvic inflammatory disease occurs repeatedly, the risk of infertility becomes higher.