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Understanding pelvic inflammatory disease | The Star, Kenya

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What is Pelvic Inflammatory Disease?

Pelvic inflammatory disease is an infection that affects a woman’s reproductive organs.

It is a complication normally caused by STDs such as Chlamydia and Gonorrhea.

What causes PID?

Other infections that are not sexually transmitted can also lead to PID.

“It is possible to have ascending infections, so it can affect even people who are not sexually active,” says Dr Frank Karirithia.

He adds that one can have other inflammatory infections that cause PID.

“Even endometriosis can cause PID,” he adds.

What are the symptoms?

According to Kairithia, PID often causes no symptoms and as a result you might fail to realize that you have the condition and seek the required treatment.

However, sometimes chronic pelvic pain could be a sign that you have PID.

Heavy vaginal discharge and abnormal uterine bleeding, especially during or after intercourse could also be sign of the condition.

What can increase your chances of getting  the disease?

There are certain factors that might risk your chances of getting PID and these are:

-Being sexually active yet you are younger than 25 years old.

-Having sex without protection.

-Douching regularly – it interferes with the balance of the good and harmful bacteria in the vagina.

-Having multiple sexual partners.

-History of PID or a Sexually Transmitted Infection.

Can PID cause infertility?

Yes. PID may cause an irreversible damage to the female reproductive organs.

But with help from your doctor, you can have a healthy pregnancy.

Diagnosis

“Normally we diagnose pelvic inflammatory disease based on the symptoms one has as well as a pelvic exam.Though sometimes to confirm the diagnosis and determine how widespread the infection is, we might recommend other tests, such as blood and urine tests, ultrasound and Laparoscopy, ” says Kairithia.

Treatment

Treatments for pelvic inflammatory disease include antibiotics that your doctor will prescribe to start immediately. Antibiotics can help prevent serious complications but can’t reverse any damage already done.

Also treatment for your partner may be advised in order to prevent reinfection.

Temporary abstinence is also normally recommended until treatment is completed and tests indicate that the infection has cleared in all partners.

However, if you’re seriously ill, pregnant or haven’t responded to oral medications, you might need hospitalisation.

“You also might need surgery if you don’t respond to antibiotic treatment,” says Kairithia.

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