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PID

DEFINITION

Infection of the female internal reproductive organs occurring in sexually active females, with peak incidence in late 20s and early 30s. This is contagious if it is caused by a sexually transmitted organism.

SIGNS & SYMPTOMS

Early symptoms (up to 1 week):

Later symptoms (1 to 3 weeks later):

  • Severe pain and tenderness in the lower abdomen.
  • High fever.
  • Increasingly foul-smelling, vaginal discharge.

CAUSES

  • Bacterial infection (chlamydia, gonorrhea or mycoplasma) or a virus. This may be transmitted by an infected sexual partner.
  • Childbirth.
  • Abortion.
  • Pelvic surgery.

DIAGNOSTIC MEASURES

  • Observation of symptoms.
  • History and examination by a doctor.
  • Laboratory blood studies and culture of the vaginal discharge.
  • Surgical diagnostic procedures, such as laparoscopy or culdocentesis.

POSSIBLE COMPLICATIONS

WHAT MAY HAPPEN?

Usually curable with early treatment. Complications may be fatal. The illness lasts from 1 to 6 weeks, depending on its severity.

TREATMENT

SELF CARE:

  • Take frequent hot baths. This may reduce the bad odor of the vaginal discharge, as well as relax muscles and relieve discomfort. Sit in a tub of hot water for 10 to 15 minutes as often as needed.

MEDICATION

Your doctor will prescribe:

  • Antibiotics to fight infection, which may be necessary for about 1 month.
  • Pain relievers.

SEXUAL ACTIVITY

Avoid sexual intercourse until well. Rest in bed until the fever subsides. Sit and lie in different positions until you find one that is comfortable for you. Allow several weeks for recovery.

CONTACT YOUR DOCTOR IMMEDIATELY, IF

  • You notice symptoms of pelvic inflammatory disease.
  • Symptoms recur after treatment.
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