The fallopian tubes connect the ovaries to the uterus. Infections that involve the fallopian terms are classically known as Pelvic inflammatory disease. However, the term has also come to include infections that involve the ovaries the uterus and the cervix. Most cases of Pelvic inflammatory disease involve infections spread through sexual contact. Some forms of Pelvic inflammatory disease produce mild, or no clinical symptoms. Over one million American women a year contract this disorder. It is more likely to develop in sexually active females after puberty in there late teens and early 20ís. Up to 25% of those who have treatment for Pelvic inflammatory disease may have the disorder reoccur.
Causes of Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
Sexually transmitted infections most commonly include chlamydia, gonorrhea, mycoplasmal, or a viral infection. Childbirth, abortion and pelvic surgery may be associated with these types of infections spread through non-sexual contact. If you use an IUD, or intrauterine device, for birth control, it may increase the risk of developing these types of infections.
Signs and Symptoms of Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
Pelvic inflammatory disease may sometimes exist without causing any significant symptoms. Early stages of the disease are commonly associated with lower abdominal, or pelvic pain. This may occur in the midline, or on one side or both sides of the lower abdomen and pelvis. A mild fever may be present. Menstrual periods may start early or be excessively heavy. A vaginal discharge that is bad smelling and copious may develop. Sexual intercourse may be painful. Occasionally, there may be frequent, painful urination. Long standing infections of the reproductive organs can lead to infertility, or difficulty becoming pregnant. Worsening infections are associated with increasing severe lower abdominal pain. Abdominal swelling may occur. The temperature becomes much more elevated. It the infection spreads in the abdominal cavity, peritonitis can occur. This can lead to shock, with rapid heart beat, shortness of breath, pallor and sweating.
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Medical Content Last Updated on 07/12/2008
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