What is pelvic inflammatory disease?

Pelvic inflammatory disease, also called “PID,” is an infection that is caused by bacteria that travel through your reproductive tract. This includes:

  • The uterus (or womb), the organ that holds a baby when a woman is pregnant
  • The ovaries, the organs that release eggs
  • The fallopian tubes, which connect the ovaries to the uterus
  • The vagina (from which the bacteria enters the body)

PID is most commonly caused by an infection after sex. Chlamydia and gonorrhea are two of the most common infections that lead to PID. PID can cause chronic pain. Since PID may cause scarring of the fallopian tubes – it may leave you unable to become pregnant.

Can bacterial vaginosis (BV) cause PID?

Since gonorrhea and chlamydia, the two most common infections that lead to PID, are closely related to bacterial vaginosis, a link has been seen between these two infections. However, there is not enough evidence to support a direct link. 

Gonorrhea and chlamydia greatly increase your risk for PID.

What are the symptoms of PID in women?

The main symptom of PID is pain in the lower abdomen. Sometimes this pain may get worse during sex.

Other symptoms include:

  • Discharge from the vagina
  • Bleeding or “spotting” from the vagina
  • Any pain in the pelvic region or during a pelvic exam

Is there a test for PID?

There is no simple test that can show whether or not you have PID. But there are a few tests that can help your provider find the root cause of your problem.

First, our providers at Broadway Gynecology will do a pelvic exam to check for signs of infection or inflammation. Then, they might test your urine, blood, or vaginal discharge for signs of infection or other problems.

Depending on your situation, you might also have other tests, such as an ultrasound

Ultimately, the diagnosis of PID will have to be made after a careful review of different body systems and different tests to rule out anything else. 

More Info About Pelvic Inflammatory Disease provided by ACOG (The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists)

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