Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is a common infection that attacks the upper reproductive organs. PID is the most common cause of infertility in women. The two diseases most often responsible for the onset of PID are gonorrhea and chlamydia. PID is also a result of bacteria introduced after an abortion, following childbirth or by insertion of an IUD. Most at risk are women under the age of 25 who have had multiple sex partners, have had STDs or have had a sexual partner who has more than one partner.
- Limit sex partners.
- Even if you use birth control pills, use a barrier method of contraception with a spermicide if you have multiple sex partners.
- Don’t use an IUD if you have more than one sex partner or if your partner has other sex partners.
- If you’re sexually active have a yearly pelvic exam and be tested for STDS.
- Avoid intercourse during menstruation when you’re most vulnerable to infections.
- Communicate with your sex partner(s) and be honest about your past sexual relations and your current concerns.
WARNING SIGNS OF PID
- severe pain and tenderness in the lower abdomen, sometimes with fever and vomiting
- mild, recurring pain in the lower abdomen or back
- irregular menstrual periods
- pain during intercourse
- periods that start early or are heavy
- large amounts of foul-smelling vaginal discharge
Emergency symptoms: Severe pain low in the abdomen accompanied by nausea, vomiting and signs of shock such as faintness