pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is an infection of the fallopian tubes, uterus, or ovaries. Although not an STI, most women develop PID after getting STIs, such as chlamydia or gonorrhea.
If PID is not treated or goes unrecognized, it will spread through genital organs and may cause problems such as scarring in the ovaries, fallopian tubes, uterus, infertility, longterm pelvic pain, and ectopic pregnancy.
Common symptoms include:
- pain and tenderness in the lower abdomen; pain in the upper abdomen on the right
- bad-smelling or abnormally colored discharge
- pain during sex
- spotting (small amounts of bleeding) between periods
- chills or fever
- nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
- loss of appetite
- backache and perhaps even difficulty walking
- pain while peeing or peeing more often than usual
A health care provider can diagnose pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) during a pelvic exam. Tests will also be done for chlamydia, gonorrhea, or other infections, because they often cause PID.
A health care provider may prescribe antibiotics for you to take, and ask that you rest in bed and abstain from sex for a while. In more developed cases of PID, surgery may be needed to repair or remove reproductive organs.
-If you think you may have been exposed to chlamydia or gonorrhea, get tested. Most women with these STIs have no symptoms and may develop PID without knowing it.
-Help your healthcare provider by not douching (washing out the inside of your vagina). This can spread infections from the vagina into the uterus and fallopian tubes, increasing the risk of PID.
-If pelvic inflammatory disease goes untreated, it may result in serious, life-threatening complications.