Pelvic Inflammatory Disease

by Anai Rhoads

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)

PID refers to a group of STDs (sexually transmitted diseases) that are caused by viruses or bacteria. The first stages begin with vaginal infection. If left untreated these infections may spread to the fallopian tubes and ovaries, resulting in infertility. In some cases PID has resulted in miscarriage, infant death and premature birth.

Here is a list of the top two most common PIDs

Chlamydia
Chlamydia is the nation's number one most contracted venereal disease. There is an estimated 5 million new cases of chlamydia reported annually.

Caused by bacterium, chlamydia can result in miscarriage, premature birth and can even have an impact on your baby after birth with infant death syndrome (SIDS).

Although many women don't even know they have it, there are some tell-tale signs:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Slight bleeding from intercourse
  • Irritating yellowish discharge

Gonorrhea
All cases of gonorrhea (unlike Chlamydia) must be reported to local public health departments, and to all partners.

The symptoms of gonorrhea are: difficulty urinating and vaginal discharge. As with chlamydia, some symptoms go unnoticed.

If untreated, it can spread through the reproductive organs, seriously damaging the ovaries and fallopian tubes. In pregnancy, gonorrhea can cause premature rupture of the membranes that surround the fetus which lead to premature birth. The babies who survive, have a higher risk of being born blind, or developing blindness soon after.

Anai Rhoads is a medical and political researcher/writer with a particular interest in the sanctions on Iraq and the wider effect of racism's influence in the Middle East. A vegan since 2000, she is a dedicated supporter of activities which promote animal and human rights. Originally from Greece, she now resides in Virginia, USA with her husband and their two dogs, Bijou and Eva.

Copyright © Anai Rhoads. Permission to republish granted to Pregnancy.org.