Q: Dear Dr I went for a Lab text last month and The result showed that am having pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). My question is this: could it be that my fallopian tube might have been blocked or what?
A: PID known as Pelvic Inflammatory Disease is an infection of the reproductive organs of a woman (uterus, fallopian tubes, ovaries and surrounding tissues) and it’s usually due to infections which may or may not be sexually transmitted (more likely to be the latter, though). The two most common causes of PID are 2 bacteria: Chlamydia and gonorrhea. Other bacteria found in the vagina and cervix (not associated with STIs) can also travel up the vagina and cause a PID.
People more at risk of this condition include people with multiple sex partners, people who use Intra Uterine Device as contraceptive, people who douche ( douching involves injecting fluid up the vagina to cleanse it. This process can carry bacteria up the vagina), people who have had an STI, young women less than 25yeras who are sexually active.
How do you know if you have this infection? Sometimes this is difficult as it may not give any symptoms. However, in other cases, patient could complain of vaginal discharge, painful urination and sex, fever, lower abdominal pain and irregular bleeds.
If this is left untreated, it may lead to ectopic pregnancy (pregnancy that implant outside the womb), fallopian tube damage and blockage with subsequent infertility and long term abdominal pain.
To diagnose the condition, your doctor may take samples from the vagina and cervix (mouth of the womb), carry out blood tests and he may also want to look-see using laparoscopy.
Based on the results, he will prescribe a course of antibiotics which has to be adhered to and the dose completely finished even if one feels better before the complete dose is finished. It is important that there is no sexual intercourse until infection is treated and indeed, sexual partner should also be treated as well. Remember the ABCs of sex.
So, I suggest that you go see a gynaecologist. You can check the Teaching or Specialist Hospital closest to you. As noted here, the treatment is based on the result of your tests. Please schedule this specialist appointment as quickly as possible…the consequences of untreated PID are severe. If any damage to the reproductive organ has already occurred, starting treatment may not reverse them. So the earlier you deal with this, the better.
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I wish you the best!
Have a good night, y’all