Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is a serious infection of the female reproductive system that can develop from an untreated sexually transmitted disease (STD). In most cases, it occurs when bacteria from the STD in the vagina or cervix move into the uterus and upper genital tract. The most common organisms that lead to PID are gonorrhea and chlamydia, both of which are highly contagious STDs.
Untreated PID can damage the fallopian tubes, ovaries, and uterus, which can lead to chronic pelvic pain and serious damage to the reproductive system. PID is the most common, preventable cause of infertility, and can also lead to ectopic pregnancies.
The good news is that when PID causes symptoms, it can be diagnosed and treated with antibiotics. The essential part is to detect it before it leads to serious health problems. However, since symptoms can be mild, many cases of PID are unrecognized and, therefore, may be untreated if people aren't screened for STDs. So women who are sexually active should take precautions to keep from contracting STDs, and eventually PID, and be screened for STDs regularly.
Signs and symptoms of PID can range from mild to severe, and can appear weeks after exposure to an STD. Sometimes, there are no symptoms at all.
When symptoms of PID occur, they may include:
- abnormal vaginal discharge, possibly with an odor
- pain during urination or more frequent urination
- aching pain in the lower abdomen
- pain in the upper abdomen or more frequent urination
- fever and chills
- nausea and vomiting
- irregular menstrual bleeding
- pain during sex
- back pain
If your daughter complains of any symptoms associated with PID, she should see her doctor as soon as possible. You should be especially alert to these symptoms if she has had PID before because they may signal a repeat infection.
The STDs that can lead to PID are very contagious. All sexual partners of someone who is diagnosed with chlamydia or gonorrhea should be notified and treated with antibiotics, even if they have no signs or symptoms.
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
© 1995-2009 The Nemours Foundation. All rights reserved.
Add your own comment
Today on Education.com
- Kindergarten Sight Words List
- The Five Warning Signs of Asperger's Syndrome
- What Makes a School Effective?
- Child Development Theories
- Why is Play Important? Social and Emotional Development, Physical Development, Creative Development
- 10 Fun Activities for Children with Autism
- Test Problems: Seven Reasons Why Standardized Tests Are Not Working
- Bullying in Schools
- A Teacher's Guide to Differentiating Instruction
- Should Your Child Be Held Back a Grade? Know Your Rights