What is Pelvic Inflammatory disease?

Pelvic inflammatory disease presenting as lower abdominal pain.

Pelvic Inflammatory disease (PID) is the infection and inflammation of the upper female genital tract which includes the uterus, fallopian tubes and adjacent pelvic structures. If not treated, infection spreads to the abdomen including liver structures leading to Fitz-hugh-curtis syndrome.

It is common in menstruating women below age 25 years of age who has multiple sexual partners which predisposes her to sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and not on contraception. It is common where their is high prevalence of STIs.

Pelvic inflammatory disease is initiated by infection of the vagina and cervix by sexually transmitted organism such as Chlamydia trachomatis and Neisseria gonorrhoea as the most common organisms among others which ascends to the upper female genital tract.

Patients with PID may be asymptomatic or minimally symptomatic. Presentation of the patients includes symptoms of infection such as fever, nausea, vomiting and severe abdominal and pelvic pain. Abnormal vaginal discharge is also commonly present or bleeding often post coital.

Diagnosis by your doctor is following the history you present with, physical examination findings and the tests results. Tests that may be ordered by your doctor includes Complete blood count, Pregnancy test to rule out possibility of ectopic pregnancy, urinalysis to rule out urinary tract infections. Imaging studies include ultrasonography scanning, laparoscopy is the gold standard for diagnosing pelvic inflammatory disease.

Treatment depends on the severity on the severity of the disease whether outpatient or in patient for intravenous antibiotics. Antibiotics such as ceftriaxone, ciprofloxacin, doxycycline and metronidazole are used for a period of 14 days to treat pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). Supportive treatment includes pain and fever medications, hydration for those dehydrated etc.

Complications of Pelvic Inflammatory disease include chronic pelvic pain, Infertility and ectopic pregnancy.

Prevention of the disease is by the usual prevention of sexually transmitted infections.

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