Women contract Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID), as it’s an infection of the uterus, fallopian tubes, and occasionally ovaries, too.
PID is caused by bacteria that travel into the uterus of the woman, and is most commonly a result of having sex, as it can be caused by a sexually transmitted infection (STI). This is because of bacteria being passed during sex, such as Chlamydia, for example. PID can sit in the body undetected and unharmful for a period of time, as it’s only when the bacteria enter the uterus that it starts to cause a problem. This means that some women only start to experience symptoms of PID months after having sex with someone who was infected with Chlamydia, or another bacterial STI.
However, not all cases of PID are a result of an STI, as some women contract it through unharmful bacteria inside them becoming harmful, after having a baby, for example. Some symptoms of PID include:
- Pain– a feeling of pain or discomfort, on or off, for a prolonged period of time.
- Vaginal bleeding– this can be both in between periods as well as heavier than normal periods.
- Fever– feeling hot and cold on and off is not an uncommon sign of PID.
- Lower back pain– this can be a symptom because of the pressure caused.
- Painful or uncomfortable sexual intercourse.
Most commonly found in women aged between 15 and 24 years old, PID is more likely in women who have had an abortion, recently changed their sexual partner, or have recently had an STI. Antibiotics can clear PID up quite quickly, after just a two-week course. The quicker the treatment is started, the quicker the person will be clear of PID. In serious cases, an operation may be needed to drain an abscess, although an abscess isn’t a symptom in every single PID case, only some of them.
If you have PID, it’s important that you’re partner is treated too, if you have had sex during the last six months. This is because although men, in particular, don’t have any signs with Chlamydia, they can still pass the bacterial infection on to others. Even if no problems are found with your partner, it is likely they will be put on a course of antibiotics, too, just to be on the safe side.