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Pelvic Inflammatory Disease

What is a Pelvic Inflammatory Disease?

Pelvic inflammatory disease is an infection of the female reproductive organs. The female reproductive organs are the: uterus, fallopian tubes, cervix and ovaries.

Pelvic inflammatory disease is also called PID.

What Causes a Pelvic Inflammatory Disease?

Pelvic inflammatory disease is most often caused by bacteria. It usually occurs when sexually transmitted bacteria spread from your vagina to your uterus and upper genital tract. The most common bacteria that cause pelvic inflammatory disease also cause gonorrhea and chlamydia. Many women with gonorrhea and chlamydia develop pelvic inflammatory disease.

Pelvic inflammatory disease may also develop when bacteria travel up a contraceptive device or when they're introduced during gynecologic procedures. Bacteria can be introduced via the following gynecologic procedures: insertion of an IUD or an abortion.

Symptoms of Pelvic Inflammatory Disease

For many women who develop pelvic inflammatory disease, no symptoms are present. When symptoms are present, the most common symptoms are:

  • Pain in your lower abdomen and pelvis
  • Heavy vaginal discharge with an unpleasant odor
  • Irregular menstrual bleeding
  • Pain during intercourse
  • Low back pain
  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Painful or difficult urination

Complications of Pelvic Inflammatory Disease

If not treated properly, complications may occur. The most common complications are:

Can Pelvic Inflammatory Disease be Treated?

Pelvic inflammatory disease can be treated. Some common treatments are: antibiotics, ibuprofen and bed rest.

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