What Leads To Pelvic Infection & Can It Be Cured?

Unprotected sex causes bacteria to travel to your womb, fallopian tubes, or ovaries, they can cause an infection.1,2

Treatment for pelvic infection most often includes antibiotics, temporary abstinence, and treatment for your partner to prevent reinfection.3

Pelvic inflammatory disease is a treatable disorder, and most women make a full recovery when they get a prompt diagnosis.4

What Leads To Pelvic Infection?

Pelvic infection is usually triggered by bacteria from a sexually transmitted infection, such as Chlamydia (a sexually transmitted disease caused by infection with Chlamydia trachomatis) or gonorrhea (bacterium affecting urethra, rectum, and throat during vaginal or oral sex). The bacteria from the vagina travels through the womb or fallopian tubes causing an infection. In most cases, the infections occur through unprotected sex.

In some instances, the bacteria can enter even through the reproductive tract when the cervix is disturbed. This can occur during a medical procedure such as

  • STD/STI can be transmitted from mother to child during childbirth through an infected birth canal. They can complicate your pregnancy and have a serious effect on you as well as your unborn child.
  • Although endometrial biopsy is safe, however, at some instances it can cause bleeding and infection cutting the wall of the uterus.
  • Modern IUDs are less likely to develop infections, but other types of Intrauterine devices have an increased risk of developing STI.
  • Gonorrhea is the most common sexually transmitted disease in several countries, untreated infection can lead to miscarriage, premature birth, and rupture of membranes.
  • Pelvic infection is the commonest problem of medical abortion. Abortion results in heavy & prolonged bleeding along with infection.

In addition to this, certain factors can increase the risk of pelvic infection. This includes:

  • Having sex with multiple partners
  • Being in sex with an individual who has more than one sexual partner.
  • Unprotected sex
  • Frequent vaginal douching using water or a mixture of fluids have a 73% higher risk of getting a pelvic infection.1,2

Can Pelvic Infection Be Cured?

Your healthcare provider can diagnose the infection based on your symptoms. In most cases, the doctor will confirm the diagnosis through tests such as a pelvic exam, cervical culture, and urine tests. Based on the samples, the extent of inflammation is determined by pelvic ultrasound, endometrial biopsy, or laparoscopy.

Taking antibiotics is the most common method to treat pelvic infection. Different types of bacteria can cause STI so your doctor may give a variety of antibiotics to treat various infections. In most cases, the symptoms improve within a few days and slowly subside. You will be required to take antibiotics for at least 2 weeks. But still, your doctor may recommend completing the medication because infections may recur.3

But in pregnant mothers, antibiotics cannot be given, therefore your doctor suggests getting hospitalized for treatment. In rare cases, pelvic infections may require surgery. This is when the abscess in the pelvis ruptures or your doctor suspects that it will rupture and produce severe complications. Pelvic infection when diagnosed early, can be treated, and cured quickly without any complications.4

Pelvic infection is an infection of the female reproductive organs and the most serious complication of sexually transmitted infections. Pain and reproductive dysfunction are some of the most severe symptoms of this disorder. A study shows that pelvic inflammatory diseases affect nearly one million women every year.

The condition affects the upper female genital tract including the cervix, uterine lining, ovaries, and fallopian tubes. Pelvic infections are commonly noticed in women aged 20 years and under and develop one in eight women.

References:

  1. “Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID): MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia.” MedlinePlus, U.S. National Library of Medicine, What Is Pelvic Inflammatory Disease? medlineplus.gov/ency/article/000888.htm
  2. “Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID).” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 23 Apr. 2020, www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/pelvic-inflammatory-disease/symptoms-causes/syc-20352594
  3. Parenthood, Planned. “Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID): Signs of PID Infection.” Planned Parenthood What’s the Treatment for Pelvic Inflammatory Disease? www.plannedparenthood.org/learn/health-and-wellness/pelvic-inflammatory-disease-pid
  4. “Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID): Symptoms, Treatments & Causes.” Cleveland Clinic, my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/9129-pelvic-inflammatory-disease-pid

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