You may be familiar with the term pelvic inflammatory disease. This condition is pretty common, and it stems from an infection in the uterus, the Fallopian tubes, or the ovaries. It causes quite a bit of pain, especially intense pain in the pelvis or hips.
What causes the infection that leads to this disease? Bacteria, otherwise known as foreign elements that infect our reproductive organs and cause this fairly common disease. If it is not treated promptly, pelvic inflammatory disease can lead to serious problems, such as infertility. It’s worth taking the time to learn about the symptoms and, thus, be able to prevent this disease and ensure good health. We’ve laid it all out for you in the article below.
1. What is pelvic inflammatory disease?
Pelvic inflammatory disease is a gynecological disease that affects both your reproductive organs and the surrounding tissues. You may suffer from an infection in your Fallopian tubes, in the womb or in your ovaries, which can cause you to experience pain reaching all the way to your hips. Many women experience this pain and confuse it with joint pain or general fatigue. So, you’ve got to be careful about this!
This disease is usually treated with antibiotics, but if it is not treated soon enough, it can cause serious problems such as those previously mentioned: infertility, or even pregnancies that end in miscarriages.
Pelvic inflammatory disease has a number of causes. Take a look at the main causes:
- Sexually transmitted: the bacteria from sexually transmitted diseases, such as the infection caused by chlamydia, are some of the most common causes of this disease.
- Some types of birth control devices can be another cause of PID. Women who use, for example, intrauterine devices (IUD) are more likely to get pelvic inflammatory disease than women who do not use this type of birth control.
- Also, be careful with so-called “vaginal douches.” This intimate part of your body needs to be treated delicately, and these types of cleansing products can sometimes do more harm than good.
- It is also important to follow a proper hygiene routine while menstruating, because this time of the month can often be a huge source of bacteria.
- The birth process, or even having an abortion, can also cause you to get this disease.
- Surgical operations in the uterus performed through the vagina are also a risk that you should keep in mind.
- Sometimes, the mucous membranes of the cervix can become overly alkaline, causing a series of bacteria to appear and possibly make you sick.
- The presence of benign tumors such as fibroids or polyps is also a possible cause.
Symptoms of pelvic inflammatory disease
There is one thing that you should pay special attention to: sometimes, this disease can occur without any symptoms. That’s why it’s important to always do routine gynecological check-ups because, as you know, PID can cause very serious problems. However, pelvic inflammatory disease usually provides clear clues in the form of various bothersome bodily changes. Check out this list:
- Very strong hip pain on both sides. It is a sharp pain that sometimes causes you to feel tired or like you need to take an analgesic or muscle relaxer.
- You may also feel pain in your stomach. It is a very particular heavy burning sensation.
- This disease is caused by infection and, therefore, it is quite common for people who suffer from it to have a slight fever. Even just two degrees above normal is enough for you to go to the doctor.
- You should also pay attention to your vaginal secretions, especially if they have a very strong and unpleasant odor. This is not normal.
- Also pay attention to you menstrual cycle. Are your periods irregular? Does it sometimes come late? Do you experience spotting between periods? If so, you should make an appointment with your doctor.
- If you experience pain while having sexual intercourse, you should also go see your gynecologist. This is a signal that you should keep in mind.
- Is urinating painful for you? Do you feel like you really have to pee and then, when you go to the bathroom, you only go “a few drops”? If so, make an appointment to see your doctor.
- If you feel nauseous for no reason, feel bloated or even vomit after eating, these are all fairly serious symptoms that you should keep in mind when it comes to PID.
How can I prevent pelvic inflammatory disease?
Be careful when having sex, as well as when it comes to choosing which type of birth control to use.
- Be careful with your intimate hygiene. Sometimes, we go overboard in terms of the products we use for intimate hygiene, thus altering the correct natural balance of vaginal bacterial flora.
- Be alert regarding any changes in your menstrual cycle or vaginal flow. If you are having any irregularity or problem, go see your doctor immediately.
- Sage tea. This medicinal plant has a long history of protecting women’s health. Sage regulates our menstruation, alleviates pain, helps us keep from getting bloated, reduces swelling and prevents water retention. It’s definitely worth drinking a cup per day.
- Periodic check-ups with your gynecologist are key to keeping this type of disease from progressing. If detected in time, you will avoid any more serious complications, so don’t avoid those appointments or be afraid of going. Your health and your well-being depend on it.