What Happens To Untreated Pelvic Infection & When To Go To The Doctor?

Pelvic infection is an inflammation of the reproductive tract, when left untreated chronic infection and infertility can develop.1

Early detection and treatment of sexually transmitted disease can prevent pelvic infections but untreated pelvic infections can cause scar tissue and pockets of infected fluid.2

In most cases, pelvic infections may be asymptomatic, however, in some cases, it brings chronic symptoms which will require to go to the emergency room right away.34

What Happens To Untreated Pelvic Infections?

Women can get pelvic infections anytime when bacteria enter the reproductive tract majorly through unprotected sex. If you are experiencing pain in the pelvic region, your doctor will diagnose you through a physical examination.

Early diagnosis and prompt treatment may cure pelvic infections without recurrent episodes. However, untreated conditions in the longer term can result in long-term health issues and infertility. Sexually transmitted diseases are often distressing because of the low awareness.

Untreated pelvic infections can cause ectopic pregnancy (when a fertilized egg inserts and develops outside the main cavity of the uterus) and infertility. Ectopic pregnancy is noticed in high numbers and several patients experience acute pain in the lower abdomen and pelvic frequently. In addition to physical stress, the patient undergoes emotional stress. 1

It causes stress and anxiety; a study shows pelvic diseases often result in physical and psychiatric disorders which are noticed in 78 percent of patients. The psychological impacts are very severe and perhaps considered as a silent pandemic in women.

Pelvic infections can be treated with antibiotics though it cannot reverse the scarring of the reproductive organs that the bacteria had already caused. The severity of the condition and recurrent episodes are some of the consequences of long-term complications. A recent study demonstrates that tubal scarring triggered by pelvic inflammatory disease often results in tubular infertility (when the fallopian tubes are blocked due to diseases and damage thus not allowing the egg and sperm to meet).2

When To Go To Doctor For Pelvic Infections?

Pelvic infections are difficult to diagnose definitively and due to lack of awareness and unusual health checkups, it becomes challenging to estimate their prevalence. Prompt treatment of chlamydia and gonorrhea inflammations are crucial for the prevention of possible pelvic infections.

When the individual has a sexually transmitted infection, it enhances the risk of other STI-related disorders such as genital diseases, syphilis, and HIV. When you have the below symptoms seek immediate medical attention.

  • High fever and chills
  • Nausea and vomiting and difficulty in managing
  • Unusual vaginal and uterine bleeding
  • Mild to moderate pain in the lower abdomen and the pelvis region
  • Pain during intercourse
  • Severe vaginal discharge with a foul odor

Though your signs and symptoms are not severe still it is often recommended to check with your doctor as soon as possible to avoid long-term complications. Some of the symptoms can also be an indication of other sexually transmitted conditions, so your doctor can diagnose the actual reason and advise suggestions to prevent pelvic infections.34

Pelvic infections are an infection of the fallopian tubes induced by a wide range of bacteria. Abnormal vaginal bleeding, pelvic pain, especially during intercourse, bad-smelling vaginal discharge with fever are a few of the classical symptoms of pelvic infections.

Vaginal infection during pregnancy and surgery when left untreated can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease. Many women with pelvic infections are asymptomatic and don’t have any signs or symptoms but some females suffer intense symptoms that require immediate medical attention.

References:

  1. “Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID).” Johns Hopkins MedicineChronic pain and infertility: the trauma of untreated pelvic inflammatory disease, www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/pelvic-inflammatory-disease-pid
  2. A Herzog, Sereina. “Timing of Progression from Chlamydia Trachomatisinfection to Pelvic Inflammatory Disease: a Mathematical Modelling Study.” BMC Infectious Diseases, BioMed Central, 11 Aug. 2012, bmcinfectdis.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1471-2334-12-187
  3. “How Do I Know If I Have Pelvic Inflammatory Disease?” WebMD, WebMD, www.webmd.com/women/guide/do-i-have-pelvic-inflammatory-disease
  4. Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)When should you call for help?, www.nchmd.org/education/mayo-health-library/details/CON-20303981

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