11 Symptoms and Effects of Pelvic Inflammatory Disease

Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is an infectious condition that happens as a result of complications of often untreated sexually transmitted diseases such as chlamydia and gonorrhea. About 10-15% of women in their reproductive years all over the world suffer from PID, according to studies.

Sexually active women ages 18-24 should be on the lookout for these signs…

1. Abdominal Pain

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Pain in the lower (and sometimes upper) abdomen is the most tell-tale sign of pelvic inflammatory disease. Its level of pain varies from a mild, dull ache to a stronger, cramp-like flare-up which may last the entire day.

And the pain can appear in other places, too…

2. Pelvic Pain

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This condition owes its name to the recurring, mild pain in the pelvic area. Although the pain in the abdominal area lasts only for a few days, pelvic pain can last for months and even years, which is why it’s important to monitor the pain as it comes.

There also may be bleeding along the way too…

3. Irregular Menstrual Bleeding

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Heavier bleeding during periods, or bleeding in between menstrual cycles (spotting) happen quite often with PID. This can also be attributed to endometriosis, a serious health condition where an excess layer of tissue forms outside the uterus.

But Aunt Flo won’t be the only thing flowin’…

4. Strange Vaginal Discharges

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Dr. Oluwatosin Goje says that vaginal discharges are normal for women, however, it could spell trouble when it starts to change color. Yellow or greenish discharges with foul odors are often a sign of STD infections such as PID, the clap and chlamydia.

Our next symptom is present in all kinds of infections…

5. Fever

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Women with PID often experience a fever higher than 100.4°F (38°C), and it often comes with symptoms 2 and 3 on the list. If the fever lasts more than three days, it could indicate more serious problems.

Another symptom of PID could impact sex…

6. Pain During Sexual Interourse

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PID causes scarring in the fallopian tubes and the pressure of sexual intercourse triggers the inflamed pelvic area, making sex particularly uncomfortable and painful.

Trips to the bathroom may also increase in frequency…

7. Incessant and Painful Urination

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Bathroom breaks can become more persistent with PID, and urination can be extremely uncomfortable as well. Patients with PID often complain of a burning sensation when they urinate, while others can have trouble urinating at all.

But using the restroom won’t be the only issue in the bathroom…

8. Nausea & Vomiting

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People with PID might tend to feel more nauseous than people without PID. This is often because like a fever, nausea and vomiting are common symptoms of STDs. Plus, nausea and vomiting can occur as a result of pain, another common PID symptom.

Unfortunately, the pain can manifest in other ways, too…

9. Bloating

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Like nausea and vomiting, STD-induced PID causes the abdomen and the lower back to suffer bloating, which is a retention of fluid in the abdomen. Feeling bloated can also cause tenderness in the abdominal area.

Aside from bloating, PID can have a more devastating effect that can impact a woman’s life in more ways than one…

10. Infertility

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The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists note that 1 in 10 women with PID are rendered infertile, as PID can scar the fallopian tubes and in turn, prevent the fertilization of eggs. The GI Associates and Endoscopy Center on the other hand, links bloating as a possible cause.

And in other cases, symptoms may be difficult to even spot…

11. The Absence of Symptoms

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Many women with PID don’t experience any symptoms, and as a result, they go undiagnosed since healthcare providers are unable to detect these early on. Only later, they can discover PID when it has progressed to its advanced stages, or when the patient has developed conditions like chronic pelvic pain, and in some cases, problems with conceiving.

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