Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"What is PID?"
My girlfried (age 22) was having a lot of strange problems like bleeding during sex and fever, chills etc. Finally she went to the doctor, and they diagnosed her as having Pelvic Inflammatory Disease. What exactly does this mean? How serious is it and how is it treated?
Pelvic inflammatory disease is a serious condition. It requires fairly extensive medical attention. I encourage your friend to closely follow with her primary care doctor or her ob/gyn. Left untreated, PID can result in infertility and even death. PID refers to an acute infection of the UPPER genital tract in women. The infection in PID involves the uterus, fallopian tubes or ovaries. This is almost universally caused by a sexually transmitted disease. (In rare cases, such as after surgery, this can be caused by other bugs.) PID is essentially a very bad form of an STD. Most commonly gonorrhea or chlamydia are the cause. In PID, the bugs get higher in the tract than normal and therefore cause inflammation. This can result in scarring of the fallopian tubes--which can lead to infertility. Another major complication is if the bacteria form a ball in or near the ovary. This is known as a tubo-ovarian abscess and is a dreaded complication because often surgery is required. PID requires attention. It can often be treated with a longer course of antibiotics--either pills or intravenous. Another important consideration is it means that the partners must be treated, otherwise the patient will reacquire the STD. I encourage your friend to see her doctor.