Pelvic inflammatory disease occurs when microbes get into the uterus and spread to the fallopian tubes, ovaries and surrounding tissues. It is often, but not always, introduced during sex through sexually transmitted disease’s such as gonorrhoea or chlamydia.It is also possible that it may also occur following abdominal surgery. Other common causes include childbirth and associated operations. With a mild attack of Pelvic Inflammatory Disease a woman runs the risk of 3% chance of having a blocked fallopian tube, when the number of bad attacks is three or more then her chance is 75%.
If no treatment is undertaken then there is the potential for it to spread further into the reproductive system and it may eventually cause infertility problems.
Following treatment, If symptoms recur then it may be necessary to have a laparoscopy (a small incision is made in the abdomen and a camera is inserted into the uterus) in hospital to check on the diagnosis.
• pain and/or tenderness in the lower abdomen
• painful sexual intercourse
• low grade fever or other ‘flu like’ symptoms
• unusual discharges from the vagina
• heavy or very painful periods
• discomfort when urinating
What Treatment is Available?
Drug Treatments include antibiotics can be prescribed initially together with painkillers, where the infection has come about as a result of sexual activity, it is recommended that the partner is treated as well to prevent re-infection. Antibiotics can be used on an out-patient basis in minor cases, but in some cases it may require a hospital stay for intra-venous antibiotic treatment.
Surgical Treatments may include the removal of infected areas such as the fallopian tubes and ovaries, but will only be performed if there is permanent damage. However it will rarely be the sole reason for a hysterectomy and a woman will usually have other conditions that are present at the same time, such as endometriosis, cysts or fibroids.