Pelvic Inflammatory Disease

IVF babyPelvic inflammatory disease, PID, is an infection of the reproductive organs including the uterus, fallopian tubes and ovaries. There are a number of organisms that can cause PID, but the infection is commonly associated with sexually transmitted infections including gonorrhea and chlamydia.

Symptoms are often mild with the condition often undiagnosed until severe damage has occurred. When symptoms are present, they may include lower abdominal pain, fever, vaginal discharge, painful urination, painful intercourse and menstrual irregularity.

How Pelvic Inflammatory Disease Impacts Fertility

As many as 10-15 percent of women with a history of PID struggle with infertility. Infections that persist undetected for long periods of time can spread to the fallopian tubes causing severe damage. Scar tissue that forms as a result of the infection blocks the tubes and prevents the egg and sperm from meeting. Fluid accumulation in the blocked tubes can also impede implantation or cause a hydrosalpinx (fluid collection within the fallopian tube).

The risk for an ectopic pregnancy (tubal pregnancy) is increased with a history of PID and occurs when an egg becomes trapped in the damaged fallopian tube.

Diagnosing Pelvic Inflammatory Disease

PID is diagnosed through screening for sexually transmitted disease, which is done during routine gynecological exams or based on symptoms alone. Pelvic ultrasound, laparoscopy and/or endometrial biopsy provide a more definitive diagnosis.

Treatment of Pelvic Inflammatory Disease

Antibiotics are prescribed for active cases of pelvic inflammatory disease and the use of condoms is recommended to prevent future re-infections. In vitro fertilization may be the best option for women with infertility due to severe tubal scarring.

The fertility specialists at DFW Fertility Associates provide care for women experiencing infertility related to pelvic inflammatory disease and other conditions. Our physicians serve the greater Dallas-Fort Worth area including Southlake, Keller, Grapevine, Colleyville and Denton.

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