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Pelvic Inflammatory Disease

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Pelvic inflammatory disease refers to infection of reproductive organs in the female. The infection is caused by bacteria which first infect the vagina, and then with time carry the infection to pelvic organs such as fallopian tubes, ovaries, cervix and the uterus. The infection may become life-threatening if it spreads in the blood.


The disease may be caused by

  • Bacteria that cause sexually transmitted diseases i.e. gonorrhea and chlamydia
  • Normal bacteria that pass the cervix and reach the reproductive organs
  • Bacterial invasion to the reproductive organs due to medical procedures like abortion, inspection of the womb or through the insertion of the intrauterine contraceptive device.
  • Damage to the cervix because of a miscarriage
  • It may also be transferred from an infected mother to its child during pregnancy or delivery.


The symptoms related to the condition may include –

  • Abdominal pain
  • Fever
  • Pain during intercourse
  • Pain during urinating
  • Irregular bleeding
  • Foul smelling vaginal discharge
  • Feeling tired

Some women may also show rare symptoms like –

  • Vomiting
  • Fainting


To diagnose the condition the doctor may conduct a physical examination to test for Sexually transmitted diseases (STD) and Pelvic Inflammatory disease (PID).

The doctor may begin by checking for –

  • Unusual discharge from cervix or vagina
  • Pain and tenderness in the reproductive organs

Depending on what the doctor has evaluated in the physical examination, the doctor may ask the patient to get a –

  • Test done for checking the presence of bacteria like gonorrhea and chlamydia.
  • Test done for urinary tract infection or other conditions that may be causing pelvic pain.
  • Ultrasound or any other imaging test to have a clearer view of the internal organs and see if there are any abscesses near ovaries or fallopian tubes.
  • An endometrial biopsy and laparoscopy may be carried out for further clarity.

Treatment –

Initially, the doctor may begin by prescribing antibiotics to relieve the symptoms. Some of the most commonly prescribed antibiotics include ofloxacin, ceftriaxone, doxycycline, moxifloxacin, Metrogyl (contains metronidazole). Antibiotics may be prescribed usually for a time span of fourteen days.

A surgery may be required in case the patient’s condition does not improve or does not respond to the ongoing treatment. It may also be required in case there is an abscess in the ovaries that may rupture or have ruptured.

For more details consult your Sexologist or Dermatologist

Associated risks –

  • Sexually active female above the age of 25 may be prone to having the infection.
  • Engaging with more than one sexual partners
  • Being involved with a partner who has more than one sexual partner
  • Having sex without any precaution
  • Having a history of the pelvic inflammatory disease in the family
  • If a patient has untreated gonorrhea or chlamydia

Preventive measures –

  • Maintaining sexual health behavior and limiting the number of sexual partners.
  • Having knowledge about what PID is and how it can spread.
  • In case a person’s partner shows symptoms of PID or STD, the doctor must be consulted.
  • Precautions must be taken while engaging in intercourse; they may include using condoms, diaphragms, vaginal spermicides, contraceptive pills etc.
  • Educating children about such diseases may also raise awareness and prevent the frequency of these diseases.
  • Patients diagnosed with the condition should complete the medicine course, even if the symptoms fade away early. Otherwise, there are chances that the bacteria may not be entirely killed and cause the infection again.

Follow up

Usually, the doctor may prescribe antibiotics like Metrogyl, ofloxacin, ceftriaxone, doxycycline, moxifloxacin for at least fourteen days. The antibiotics may be prescribed in combination with other medicines for better results. The doctor may ask the patient to come for a follow up to evaluate the progress in eradicating the symptoms. Therefore, do not miss the follow-up appointments because the doctor may need to alter the dose or add more medicines depending upon the patient’s improvement.

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