Pelvic Inflammatory Disease – Risk Factors, Causes, Symptoms, Prevention And Treatment
Pelvic inflammatory disease is an infection of the woman upper genital tract that includes: infection of the endometrium (endometritis), fallopian tubes (salpingitis), the ovaries, the uterine wall (myometrium) the lining of the uterus (endometritis) or pelvic peritoneum or portions of it (peritonitis). Also known as adnexitis, the condition is quite common in young women sexually active, woman with many births or with multiple sexual partners. The statistics say that 4 of 5 women have experienced the disease and the risk of relapse is high if treatment is incorrect the favoring conditions of the disease are maintained. Germs that are transmitted sexually as N. gonorrhoeae, Chlamydia trachomatis are possible causes of the disease. Other etiologic agents are bacteria that form the bacterial flora of the cervix and vagina (H. influenzae, group B streptococcus, staphylococcus an, E. coli), which can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease if the woman has a weakened immune system.
In pelvic inflammatory disease a number of risk factors are incriminated:
- Abortion, uterine curettage, endometrial biopsy or other invasive maneuvers on the uterus
- Periods (approximately 70% of the adnexitis appear immediately after menstruation)
- Frequent vaginal irrigation, which can unbalance the normal vaginal flora or on the contrary poor hygiene
- Excessive exposure to cold
- Non-sterile vaginal swabs
- Intrauterine coil used as a contraceptive method
- Sometimes sex itself may favor the appearance of adnexitis because it favors the mobilization of bacteria to the uterus
- Multiple sex partners
- Smoking by lowering the body’s overall immunity.
Pelvic inflammatory disease is a serious infection of the female reproductive system, due to untreated or improper treated sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). In most cases these STDs are advancing from the vagina and cervix to the uterine cavity or upper genital tract. This can lead either to a total block of the fallopian tubes, preventing the egg to reach the uterus or a partial block, which increases the risk of developing an ectopic pregnancy.
Symptoms of pelvic inflammatory disease spread on a large scale from their complete absence to severe. Frequently pelvic inflammatory disease symptoms are considered as a sign of less severe diseases. Many women who had pelvic organs affected due to pelvic inflammatory disease stat that have not been diagnosed with PID ever. This is especially true if the pelvic inflammatory disease was caused by chlamydia, which can be asymptomatic. Often symptoms do not appear until pelvic inflammatory infection and inflammation has not spread to the fallopian tubes the abdominal cavity (peritoneum).
Symptoms of pelvic inflammatory disease tend to be more evident during the period of menstrual bleeding and sometimes in the coming weeks. The main symptom is abdominal pain found in lower pelvic inflammatory disease, usually described in the form of cramps or constant irritating. This pain can be worse during bowel movements, intercourse or during urinating. One or more symptoms of the following may also be present
- A feeling of pressure in pelvis
- Pain in the lower dorsal region. Sometimes this pain may radiate to one or to both feet
- An abnormal vaginal discharge, yellow, brown or green or an increase in vaginal discharge
- Fever, usually over 38.33 degrees C. However, sometimes fever may be absent
- A vague feeling of weakness of the whole body or discomfort (malaise)
- Nausea or vomiting
- Painful intercourse (dyspareunia)
- Irregular menstrual bleeding
- Urinary symptoms such as burning or pain when urinating.
- Elimination of risk factors to prevent illness;
- Early treatment of sexually transmitted diseases prevents installation, relapses and infertility;
- Avoiding sex with multiple partners
- Avoid using the IUD (intrauterine devices
- Practice protected sex
- Protection by keeping warm the lower abdominal area, especially in winter
- Avoid long term use of the tampons
- Specialized medical control whenever the above events occur.
Pelvic inflammatory disease can spread to other abdominal organs, either from the pelvic organs through the lymphatic system or the terminal ends of the fallopian tubes. These may be more common in women who recently:
- Gave birth
- Have supported some uterine tests or other procedures, such as: a sample of tissue from the superficial layer of the uterus (endometrial biopsy), scratching the surface layer of the uterus (dilation and curettage, examination of the uterus or fallopian tubes using a tube light at the end (hysteroscopy or hysterosalpingogra), abortion.
If there is an acute infectious episode manifested by great pain accompanied by fever, vomiting, malaise, a medical examination is urgenlty needed, which can decide whether the patient must be hospitalized in serious forms. Drug therapy based on antibiotics, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, are proposed in different treatment schemes by doctors.
Antibiotic treatment takes 14 days for pelvic inflammatory disease. Although the person may begin to feel better sooner it is necessary to administer the treatment during this period of 2 weeks. Otherwise, the infection can recur. Also NSAIDs can be used to ease the pain or discomfort. Further assessments are important to make sure the wanted treatment effect is obtained. Close monitoring can help prevent complications such as chronic pelvic pain or infertility. The doctor will a want to see the patient after 2-3 days from the start of the treatment, then after yet another 8-11 days. A new assessment will also be required at 4-6 weeks after completion of treatment to check whether the person is cured.
If the patient has an intrauterine device, for contraceptive purpose and has a pelvic inflammatory disease, the intrauterine device may be removed, depending the severity of infection. The doctor will recommend hospitalization in the following situations:
- Pregnant woman
- The patient is in an advanced stage of the disease
- The person presents vomiting
- Surgery for tubo-ovarian abscess or ectopic pregnancy is required (which may be the result of pelvic inflammatory disease)
- The person can not be treated only at home.
Each partner that the patient had sexual contact with in the last 60 days should be evaluated for a sexually transmitted disease and treated adequate to prevent reinfection and spread of infection from person to person.
Treatment for gonorrhea or chlamydia is not the same treatment for pelvic inflammatory disease. Sometimes more antibiotics are prescribed for pelvic inflammatory disease and are administered for a longer period of time. To prevent reinfection abstinence from sexual intercourse is important until both the person concerned and partner / sexual partners have fully completed the antibiotic treatment (at least 14 days).
When the condition is mild or in the case of frequent relapses the patient can choose a successful alternative treatment and the herbalist doctor will guide the patient toward detecting and treating the root causes of the pelvic inflammatory disease.