PELVIC INFLAMMATORY DISEASE (PID)
DESCRIPTIONPelvic inflammatory disease is infection of the female internal reproductive organs. This is contagious if it is caused by a sexually transmitted organism. The Fallopian tubes, cervix, uterus, ovaries, and urinary bladder are involved. Pelvic inflammatory disease can affect sexually active females after puberty. The peak incidence occurs in the late teens and early 20s.
Appropriate health care includes:
Physician's monitoring of general condition and medications. Your daughter's sexual partner may also need examination and treatment.
Self-care after diagnosis.
Surgery to drain a pelvic abscess (sometimes).
Psychotherapy or counseling, if infertility occurs.
SIGNS & SYMPTOMSPain in the lower pelvis on one or both sides, especially during menstrual periods. Menstrual flow may be heavy.
Bad-smelling vaginal discharge.
General ill feeling.
Low fever (up to 101F or 38.3C).
Frequent, painful urination.
Later symptoms (1 to 3 weeks later):
Severe pain and tenderness in the lower abdomen.
Temperature over 101F (38.3C).
Increased bad-smelling vaginal discharge.
Early symptoms (up to 1 week):
CAUSESBacterial infection (chlamydia, gonorrhea, or mycoplasma) or a virus. This may be transmitted by an infected sexual partner.
Many sexual partners; use of an intrauterine contraceptive device (IUD).
PREVENTING COMPLICATIONS OR RECURRENCEUsing rubber condoms helps to prevent sexually transmitted infections.
Your own observation of symptoms; medical history and physical exam by a doctor; laboratory blood studies and culture of the vaginal discharge; surgical diagnostic procedures, such as laparoscopy or culdocentesis (See Glossary).
Special studies that may include ultrasonography, CAT or CT scan, MRI, and radionuclide scan (See Glossary for all).
Pelvic abscess and rupture. This can be life-threatening to your daughter.
Adhesions (bands of scar tissue) inside the pelvis.
Thrombophlebitis (blood clots that break off and travel to the lungs).
Usually curable with early treatment. Complications may be fatal to your daughter. The illness lasts from 1 to 6 weeks, depending on its severity.
HOME CAREInstructions for your daughter:
Use heat to relieve pain:
-- Place a heating pad or hot water bottle on your abdomen or back.
-- Take frequent hot baths. This may reduce the bad odor of the vaginal discharge, as well as relax muscles and relieve discomfort. Sit in a tub of hot water for 10 to 15 minutes as often as needed.
Use sanitary pads to absorb the discharge or menstrual flow.
Don't douche during treatment.
MEDICATIONIntravenous antibiotics to fight infection during hospitalization. Oral antibiotics may be necessary for about 1 month following hospitalization.
Your doctor may prescribe:
Your daughter should avoid sexual intercourse until she is well. She should rest in bed until the fever subsides. She may have to sit and lie in different positions until she finds one that is comfortable. Allow 6 weeks for recovery.
DIET & FLUIDS
No special diet.
OK TO GO TO SCHOOL?When signs of infection have decreased, appetite returns, and alertness, strength, and feeling of well-being will allow.
CALL YOUR DOCTOR IF
Your daughter has symptoms of pelvic inflammatory disease.
Symptoms recur after treatment.
New, unexplained symptoms develop. Drugs used in treatment may produce side effects.