Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)

Definition - What does Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) mean?

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) is a condition that results in the infection and inflammation of the female reproductive structures. It occurs when bacteria or viruses from vagina ascend into the other parts of the female reproductive tract including the cervix, uterus, and the fallopian tubes. Within these structures, the bacteria or viruses grow in number and cause inflammation. Longstanding PID may result in complications like infertility, ectopic pregnancies, and menstrual irregularities.

FertilitySmarts explains Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)

Besides symptoms like abdominal pain and nausea, PID can result in other complications like tubal pregnancies. Inflammation of the Fallopian tubes does not let the egg pass down to the uterus. As a result, the egg remains in a fallopian tube, resulting in an ectopic pregnancy. Long standing infection can lead to blockage of the fallopian tubes to the extent that makes fertilization within the fallopian tubes impossible, which ultimately leads to infertility.

Factors increasing the risk for PID include:

  • Unprotected sex
  • Surgical procedures involving reproductive structures
  • Use of contraceptive devices like IUDs
  • Untreated Gonorrhea and Chlamydia infections

The diagnosis of PID is based on the history, examination, and presence of any of the above risk factors. The final diagnostic test is laparoscopy in which doctors pass a tube with a small camera through a tiny hole in the belly to look inside the abdomen.

Treatment is largely based on controlling the infection and surgical removal of the affected areas. Assisted reproduction techniques may help to cope with infertility.

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