Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)

Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) occurs when bacteria move from the vagina and cervix upward into the uterus, ovaries, or fallopian tubes. More than 1 million women in the U.S. are diagnosed with PID each year. Women 25 or younger are most likely to develop PID.

Two sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) – gonorrhea and chlamydia – are the main causes of PID. A woman infected with gonorrhea or chlamydia– and untreated – will develop PID anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. Infections such as bacterial vaginosis (BV) make it easier to develop PID.

PID can cause serious long-term problems including infertility, ectopic pregnancy, and chronic pelvic pain (see definitions below). Typical symptoms include:

  • Abnormal vaginal discharge
  • Pain in the lower abdomen (often a mild ache) or upper right abdomen
  • Abnormal menstrual bleeding
  • Fever and chills
  • Painful urination
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Painful sexual intercourse

If you are concerned about PID, the GYN providers at NOCO Women’s Wellness can provide effective screening and treatment.

Definitions

Bacterial Vaginosis: A type of vaginal infection caused by the overgrowth of a number of organisms that are normally found in the vagina.
Chlamydia: A sexually transmitted disease caused by bacteria that can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease and infertility.
Chronic Pelvic Pain: Persistent pain in the pelvic region that has lasted for at least 6 months.
Ectopic Pregnancy: A pregnancy in which the fertilized egg begins to grow in a place other than inside the uterus, usually in one of the fallopian tubes.
Gonorrhea: A sexually transmitted disease that may lead to pelvic inflammatory disease, infertility, and arthritis.
Infertility: A condition in which a couple has been unable to get pregnant after 12 months without the use of any form of birth control.
Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs): Diseases that are spread by sexual contact.

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