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Pelvic Inflammatory Disease and Fertility

August 27, 2018
Katie Visco

There are a lot of factors that play a part when trying to conceive. It is easy to miss some of the lesser known factors that can affect your pregnancy, Pelvic Inflammatory Disease or PID is one of these lesser-known factors. Sounds scary, but don’t worry! We’ve collected the facts and we’re going to walk you through them.

What is Pelvic Inflammatory Disease?

What is PID and how do you get it?

female organs

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease or PID is a disease that causes an inflammation of the pelvic region. This disease is fairly common for women under the age of 50. Those who are within the reproductive age group, which is 20 to 30, are also especially susceptible to PID. PID is an infection of the reproductive organs. This disease is often associated with having an STD like gonorrhea or chlamydia, but you can still get PID without an std. Using an IUD can increase your risk of PID but the risk is limited to the first 3 weeks from the time the IUD is placed in the body.  Bacteria in the vagina can move into the reproductive organs, this is caused by douching. Neither doctors or nurses recommend douching.   

Reducing the Risks

Some Preventive Measures to Avoid PID

pain

There’s plenty of viable ways to prevent this infection. The first and most effective way to prevent PID is to practice celibacy or use condoms. Condoms are a great way to prevent STIs and STDs, which contribute to the largest cause of PID; gonorrhea and chlamydia.  

Getting tested is the second most effective preventative measure. Testing for STIs with your partner before having sex can greatly lower your risk of this infection.  This next defense you can utilize goes hand and hand with getting tested  Have a monogamous relationship! Limiting the number of partners will limit the about of STDs you could receive.

There are ways to get Pelvic Inflammatory Disease without having an STD. The largest culprit of this is douching. Douching helps bacteria travel from the internal reproductive organs to other parts of the reproductive system like the uterus or fallopian tubes.  Using these tips together will help to lower your risk of infection.  

Symptoms of Pelvic Inflammatory Disease

Things to look out for…

pelvic infographic

There are some telltale signs that could point toward PID. If you’re experiencing these symptoms seek a medical professional.

  • Lower Abdominal and Back Pain

If you are experiencing pain in your lower back or your abdominal region you may have Pelvic Inflammatory Disease.

  • Different Kinds of Discharge

If you are experiencing a different kind of vaginal discharge than usual you should look into getting a pelvic exam.

  • Pain during sex or during a pelvic exam

If you are experiencing pain during intercourse or while you are having a pelvic exam you may have PID, check in with your doctor for a diagnosis.

  • Cramps or Spotting  

Spotting and cramps throughout the month could mean you are at risk for Pelvic Inflammatory Disease.

  • Fever and Severe Pain

If you are experiencing one or both of these symptoms, seek medical help immediately and go to your closest emergency room. Fevers, severe pain, and chills are serious symptoms that can cause the infection to get much worse and will cause intense pain and damage to the reproductive organs over the next few days.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms get in touch with your healthcare provider as soon as possible. If you have a fever of 101 degrees or higher, nausea or vomiting when trying to eat, foul vaginal discharge or significantly severe pain, go to your nearest emergency room immediately. If your symptoms are persistent but not severe, schedule an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible.

Cures and treatments

What can you do to fix it?

consultation

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease can be treated. The average treatment of PID includes a course of antibiotics for two weeks or more. There are two main antibiotics prescribed that can protect against the bacteria that prompts PID. Talk to your medical practitioner about treatment options. You may be advised to have a follow-up appointment after 3 days of treatment to make sure your antibiotics are working.

If your symptoms aren’t improving after 3 days of your treatment plan, you may need to stay in a hospital. Your doctor might want to give some more tests to find out what’s going on. If you aren’t able to keep down your pills you may need to take the antibiotics with an IV.   

Make sure to get your partner treated as well. If your partner has been with you for 6 months before the start of your symptoms get them tested and treated so that the infection stops recurring even if a specific cause isn’t identified. Be sure to avoid sex until your treatment is completed.

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease and Your Fertility

There’s plenty of help down there

pregnant woman

PID is an often overlooked complication for pregnancy and conceiving. For safety, we recommend getting tested for Pelvic Inflammatory Disease as a precautionary measure. If PID goes untreated you can be at risk for much more serious illness and damage to your reproductive system.

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