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Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)

What is pelvic inflammatory disease?

 

What are the symptoms of PID?

Symptoms can range from none to severe.

The symptoms include :

  • Pain in the lower abdomen.
  • Large amount of foul smelling or abnormal colored vaginal discharge.
  • Pain during sexual intercourse.
  • Heavier menses with more pain.
  • Intermenstrual bleeding (bleeding in between periods).
  • Chills, fever and vomiting.
  • Increased tiredness.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Backache.
  • Painful or more frequent micturation.

 

What can happen if you get PID?

  • It can cause widespread scarring leading to infertility.
  • If one gets pregnant, the scarring can lead to an ectopic pregnancy (i.e. a pregnancy with the fetus outside the uterus).
  • It can lead to a tubo-ovarian abscess (a collection of pus in the ovaries and Fallopian tubes).

 

How is PID diagnosed and treated?

  • You have to undergo a pelvic examination and have swabs taken.
  • A pregnancy test is also done.
  • An ultrasound will also be needed to diagnose PID.
  • You will be given antibiotics for a few weeks.
  • You must complete the whole course of antibiotics or the infection might recur.
  • If you have severe symptoms, you might need to be admitted for a few days for intravenous antibiotics.
  • Your partner may also need treatment.

 

How can you prevent PID?

  • The best way is to avoid sex

  • If you are below 16 years old, having sex is illegal unless you are married.
    • The Malaysian law states that consensual sex with girls below 16 years old will lead to the male being charged with statutory rape.
  • If you are sexually active, practice safe sex.
    • Be loyal to one partner. Avoid multiple partners.
    • Use condoms. However condoms are not 100% effective in preventing PID but are able to reduce the risk of transmission.
    • Avoid taking alcohol or drugs that can impair your judgement.

 

Last Reviewed : 27 April 2012
Content Writer : Dr. Hargeet Kaur a/p Basant Singh
Reviewer : Dr. Nik Rubiah bt. Nik Abd. Rashid