Pelvic inflammatory disease
Pelvic inflammatory disease
Ovarian inflammation is a popular name for pelvic inflammatory disease. It is a serious infectious disease of the uterus, uterine lining, fallopian tubes, ovaries and its surroundings. This disease affects mostly young sexually active women, women after several labors and women with more sexual partners. Pelvic inflammatory disease is usually caused by bacteria which are the originators of sexually transmitted disease such as gonorrhea and chlamydia. It is important to treat pelvic inflammatory disease in time and precisely since it can cause infertility, ectopic pregnancy, internal bleeding and in the worst scenario death.
Ovaries are a pair organ which is an important part of the female reproductive system. Gametes, eggs are produced here and also female sex hormones. Normally once a month an egg is released, migrates through the fallopian tube and here it can be fertilized by male gametes, sperm. A fertilized egg is then attached on the congested endometrial and pregnancy begins. If there is no fertilization of the egg, it is excreted in blood during menstruation, together with remnants of endometrial prepared for pregnancy.
Causes of pelvic inflammatory disease
Pelvic inflammatory disease is a serious disease which is as its agents transmitted sexually. The most common causes are two bacteria Chlamydia trachomatis and Neisseria gonorrhea (cause of gonorrhea). Besides these bacteria the inflammation can be caused also by other bacteria like staphylococcus and streptococcus. Less probable causes of the infection can be abortion, labor and by an intrauterine device. The infection spreads upwards from the cervix in to the uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries and also might into the peritoneum or the abdominal wall. The risk factors for pelvic inflammatory disease are many sexual partners, unprotected sex without condoms or sex itself. A commonly proclaimed cold does not cause the pelvic inflammatory disease but helps the general weakening of the organism. The development is enhanced by hormonal imbalance, menstruation and bad hygiene.
Symptoms of pelvic inflammatory disease
The basic symptom of pelvic inflammatory disease is mild to severe cramping in the lower abdomen. Also pain during sex, urination and menstruation can be present, yellowish smelly discharge, bleeding or spotting outside menstruation or prolonged menstruation. Other possible symptoms are back pain, headache and less usual are fever, nausea and vomiting. If the disease is treated with delay or inappropriately it leads to complications which arise as a result of inflammatory adhesions. Due to these adhesions complications with urination and defecation arise. A big danger is partial or complete infertility.
Diagnosis of pelvic inflammatory disease
Early diagnosis and early treatment of pelvic inflammatory disease is very important. For the correct diagnosis besides the mentioned symptoms gynecological examination, laboratory examination or ultrasound, rarely laparoscopic examination is important. During gynecological examination the doctor detects cervical pain and enlarged lymph nodes in the groin. The doctor removes the cervical mucus, which determines the infectious agent. For the laboratory examination blood is collected and the subsequent blood picture proves an ongoing inflammation. In addition, the doctor may examine the urine for infection of the bladder and kidneys, or to test for other sexually transmitted diseases, including syphilis and HIV. Ultrasound examination is done more for diagnosis of pelvic inflammatory disease complications such as ectopic pregnancy, ovarian cysts, ovarian torsion or rotation or tubo-ovarian abscesses. Abscess is a cavity filled with pus. Laparoscopic examination is performed rarely. In this case the doctor performs a few small holes in the abdomen, through which are put tools, a light source and a camera attached to a television screen on which the doctor monitors and evaluates the disabilities of the inflamed organs.
Treatment of pelvic inflammatory disease
The basic treatment of pelvic inflammatory disease is the immediate initiation of antibiotics. Those which are effective at both leading causatives are served. They are usually served seven days, it is important to use up the whole package; otherwise there is an increased risk of infection return. Further bed rest is recommended and sufficient fluid intake. As the inflammation is very painful in the early stages, also painkillers are used. Since it is a sexually transmitted disease, also the examination and re-treatment of the sexual partners is important to avoid cross transmission of the infection. When pelvic inflammatory disease is ill-treated and untreated adhesions are formed, which must be removed surgically. If the physician during the examination records abscess or other specified complications, surgical intervention is also required.
Prevention of pelvic inflammatory disease
As a precaution to pelvic inflammatory disease it is suggested to use barrier contraception (condoms), especially for random sexual encounters and the beginning of a new relationship. Avoiding exposure to cold, which facilitates the development of the infection, is also an important precaution. In case of any suspicion of a possible pelvic inflammatory disease, please promptly contact your gynecologist. The basis of a successful recovery from pelvic inflammatory disease is especially a timely diagnosis and proper treatment.