Pelvic inflammatory Disease (PID): Symptoms, Signs and Treatment

Pelvic inflammatory Disease (PID) Symptoms, Signs and Treatment

Last updated on July 28th, 2018 at 05:13 am

PID or pelvic inflammatory disease is an ascending infection that affects the uterus, ovaries fallopian tubes and abdomen in women. It affects about 1.5 percent of women in their child bearing age yearly.

More than 90 percent of women with PID is caused by gonorrhea and chlamydia infections. Women that show no symptoms of gonorrhea and chlamydia infection may also develop PID. Also, Bacterial vaginosis (BV) can cause PID in women.

PID occurs only in women. This is because men do not have uterus, ovaries or fallopian tubes. The infection ascends from the vagina through the cervix to the uterus and then through the fallopian tubes to the abdomen.

In severe cases, pus like discharge into the abdomen will cause severe abdomen pain. This can lead to collection of pus in the abdomen (Abscess).

Common PID symptoms include low abdomen pain, abnormal vaginal discharge, high body temperature or fever and body weakness. However, PID can be prevented since it is a complication of sexually transmitted infection. Use of condoms, abstinence can prevent infections that cause pelvic inflammatory disease.

In addition, treatment and cure of PID is dependent on the severity of the infection. Treatment will not reverse any damage done by the infection. Mild to moderate PID will require medications while severe forms may require surgery.


What is PID (pelvic inflammatory disease) and what causes it?

PID is an acronym that stands for pelvic inflammatory disease. It is caused be sexually transmitted infection and can only affect women. The commonest organism that cause PID are gonorrhea and chlamydia. They both account for 70 to 90 percent of all PID in women.

However, other organisms can cause pelvic inflammatory disease. BV (bacterial vaginosis) can cause PID in women.

It is important for women to know gonorrhea and chlamydia symptoms early. Early detection and treatment of these std symptoms will prevent PID

Common gonorrhea symptoms in women

  • Pus-like vaginal discharge (Some women will complain of yellow discharge or green discharge)
  • Pain while urinating (dysuria)
  • Pain during intercourse
  • Bleeding between menstrual cycle
  • Skin rash and fever

Women with chlamydia infection will also have similar symptoms. It is therefore important to see your doctor if you notice any abnormal discharge or symptom of the disease.


What are PID signs and symptoms in women?

Not all women that develop pelvic inflammatory disease will show symptoms. Also, symptoms experienced in women will depend on the severity of the infection.

If you have PID, you may have any of these symptoms

  • Lower abdomen pain
  • Pain during intercourse
  • Fever
  • Purulent vaginal discharge
  • Heavy vaginal bleeding or menorrhagia
  • Bleeding between periods
  • Mass in the abdomen that is painful. This is due to puss collection in the abdomen
  • Severe body infection (sepsis) that may affect other parts of the body
  • Infertility

If you experience any of these PID symptoms then see your doctor. Fortunately, early diagnosis and treatment will prevent complications of the disease.


How is PID diagnosed in women?

Presence of the above PID symptoms will assist to make diagnosis. Some of the questions you will be asked by your doctor include

  • If you had unprotected sexual intercourse in the past?
  • Number of sexual partners?
  • Any abdominal pain, vomiting, change in your normal white vaginal discharge?

Other symptoms will also be asked by your doctor. Your doctor will also do some test. these include

  • Complete blood count. This is important to check your white blood cell count.Increased white blood cells with increased neutrophils is suggestive of new inflammation. Also, reduced white blood cells with decreased neutrophils is suggestive of severe infection.
  • Pregnancy test. Pregnancy test is necessary to rule out pregnancy, ectopic pregnancy miscarriage or threatened miscarriage.
  • C-Reactive protein or Erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR). This is raised in women with PID.
  • Pelvic ultrasound
  • CT Scan
  • MRI
  • Specific test for the infection is also done. These may include gram staining and culture.
  • Laparoscopy. This is the gold standard used in the diagnosis of PID. It can detect PID in women with or without symptoms of the disease. However, in women with mild disease features may not be obvious.


What is Pelvic inflammation disease treatment?

Following PID testing and diagnosis, treatment is commenced. Most women relief within 24 to 48 hours of therapy. Also, treatment depends on the severity of your infection. Your doctor may decide to admit you if severe or you may be treated as an out-patient.

Women with Intrauterine contraceptive device (IUCD) would be counselled on the risk and then removed. In addition, other forms of contraception will be advised by our doctor.

Some of the drugs combination used are

  • Ofloxacin twice daily + metronidazole for 14 days
  • Ceftriaxone + Doxyclycline + metronidazole for 14 days

Will i get admitted?

This depends on the severity of the infection. Women with severe form of PID will require admission. Other reason for possible admission in the hospital are

  • Severe infection
  • Presence of abscess (collection of pus)
  • Severe pain that requires strong relief medications

In severe PID, treatment will be extended to 14 days. In addition, women that cannot take orally will be given parenteral medications.

Will treatment involve surgery?

Yes. However, this is only for very few patients that medical treatment fail. Also, women with collection of pus will need surgery.

How is PID treated in pregnancy?

Presence on PID in pregnancy can be treated and cured. Drug used are Azithromycin and metronidazole. The are safe during pregnancy.


What are the complications of PID?

  • The inflammation of the uterus, fallopain tubes can cause discharge of pus into the abdomen. This will result to scarring and abscess formation.
  • PID can affect fallopian tubes in women resulting in difficulty getting pregnant. It is a common cause of infertility in women
  • Due to damage to the fallopian tube, the baby may be implanted outside the uterus. This is ectopic pregnancy.
  • Chronic pelvic pain
  • Preterm miscarriage and abortion in women


How to prevent Pelvic inflammatory disease

Understanding PID symptoms and early visit to your doctor will prevent complications in women. However, not all women will show symptoms of infection or PID. Regular testing in therefore important in all women.

Some of the ways to prevent PID in women are

  • Avoid sexual intercourse. Abstinence is the easiest and effective way to prevent to prevent PID
  • Consistent use of condoms
  • Advice your partner to get tested and treated if he shows STD symptoms or not
  • Reinfection by your partner is possible. This will increase your risk to damage tubes and tubal pregnancy.
  • Remove intrauterine devices (IUCD)
  • Stop Vaginal Douching
  • Be hygienic and stop bad toilet practices.


What other disease condition can mimic PID symptoms?

  • Ovarian cyst
  • Endometriosis
  • Abortion and its complications
  • Ovarian torsion


Frequently Asked Questions

You asked about PID and we answered.

How do you get pelvic inflammatory disease?

You get pelvic inflammatory disease by ascending infection of the uterus, fallopian tubes. It results from poorly treated or untreated gonorrhea and chlamydia infections.

Is PID treatable?

Yes. There is both medical and surgical treatment. Most women feel better after treatment for 1 or 2 days. However, surgical treatment is required for severe PID.

What is the meaning of PID?

PID simply means Pelvic inflammatory disease.

PID in men? is it possible?

PID does not occur in men. This is because they do not have uterus and fallopian tubes. However, men will experience prostatitis and urethral stricture due to gonorrhea or chlamydia infections.

What is the pelvic bacterial infection that causes PID?

The bacteria infection that cause PID are gonorrhea and chlamydia. They cause 90 percent of the PID in women. Bacterial vaginosis can also cause PID.

How is pelvic inflammation disease treated naturally?

Use of yogurt and garlic can reduce inflammation in women.


Now its your turn to tell us your PID symptoms. Do you experience pain or abnormal discharge. Share your experiences and questions.

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