According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, pelvic inflammatory disease is an infection of a woman’s reproductive organs, including the fallopian tubes, ovary, uterus, cervix, and vagina. Luckily, PID can be cured if diagnosed early, yet treatment will not undo any damage that has already happened. Because of the complications that can accompany pelvic inflammatory disease, it is important to know the symptoms, risks, treatments, and possible impact on fertility. 

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease

Here at Carolinas Fertility Institute, we take pride in helping families achieve their parenting dreams. This means providing our patients with reliable information regarding diseases and conditions that can impact fertility. Continue reading to learn more about pelvic inflammatory disease and its impact on fertility.

What Is Pelvic Inflammatory Disease?

PID, or pelvic inflammatory disease, is often due to complications caused by an STD, such as chlamydia or gonorrhea. These diseases can cause serious damage to a woman’s reproductive organs if left untreated. In most cases, sexually transmitted bacteria spreads from your vagina to your uterus, fallopian tubes, or ovaries. PID is a serious condition that can lead to infertility, ectopic pregnancy, and even death.

What Are The Symptoms Of Pelvic Inflammatory Disease?

The signs and symptoms of pelvic inflammatory disease often are mild, making it difficult to recognize. However, in the case symptoms are present, the most common signs of PID include

  • Lower abdominal pain
  • Mild pelvic pain
  • Increased vaginal discharge
  • Irregular menstrual bleeding
  • Fever (>101℉)
  • Pain with intercourse
  • Painful and frequent urination
  • Abdominal tenderness
  • Pelvic organ tenderness
  • Uterine tenderness
  • Adnexal tenderness
  • Cervical motion tenderness
  • Inflammation

Even if your symptoms aren’t severe, it is still highly recommended to visit your healthcare provider, as early detection can be treated with a course of antibiotics. 

How Does Pelvic Inflammatory Disease Affect Fertility?

According to the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists, one in 10 women with pelvic inflammatory disease becomes infertile. This is due to scarring of the fallopian tubes, which can block the tubes and prevent an egg from being fertilized. Additionally, PID can also lead to ectopic pregnancy, which is when a fertilized egg grows outside of the uterus, or chronic and long-lasting pelvic pain.

How Can You Prevent Pelvic Inflammatory Disease?

The best way to prevent pelvic inflammatory disease is to practice safe sex. You can do this by wearing condoms every time you are physically intimate, limiting your number of sexual partners, and asking your partner about their sexual past. Other ways to reduce your risk of PID include talking to your OB/GYN about contraceptive methods, getting tested, and having your partner get tested. It is crucial to consult your healthcare provider yearly to ensure that your reproductive system is disease-free and healthy.

Risk factors of pelvic inflammatory disease to be aware of include being sexually active, being younger than 25 years old, having multiple sex partners, having sex without a condom, douching regularly, or having a history of PID or other sexually transmitted infections. Additionally, there is a small risk for women to develop pelvic inflammatory disease after the insertion of an intrauterine device (IUD). However, this risk dramatically drops after the first three weeks of insertion. 

Talk to A Fertility Expert

At Carolinas Fertility Institute, we are dedicated to helping you build your family with personalized care and attention. We provide the latest and most technologically advanced treatment options for fertility. If you are struggling to get pregnant, we can work with you to devise a personalized treatment plan. For more information about pelvic inflammatory disease or for any questions, call us at (336) 448-9100 to make an appointment in the Triad or (844) 686-2233 for our Charlotte office.