Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
Nearly 1 million women in the US alone suffer from pelvic inflammatory disease or PID each year; PID is an infection in the reproductive organs of a woman. It is essential to treat the symptoms of Pelvic Inflammatory Disease immediately when noticed. Failure to do so may lead to complications such as infertility and even can be life threatening. Sexually transmitted diseases (STD) such as chlamydia or gonorrhea are often the cause for pelvic inflammatory disease. Women who have multiple sexual partners or partners with symptoms of chlamydia or gonorrhea infections are at a higher risk for PID. Some forms of contraception such as IUDs may put a woman at increased risk of PID. Surgical procedures such as D and C (Dilation and Curettage), insertion of IUD or treatment of an abnormal Pap smear can lead to pelvic inflammatory. Usually the cervix prevents the spread of bacteria into the internal organs. But when the cervix gets infected with an STD (Sexually Transmitted Disease), disease-causing bacteria travel up the internal organs and damage the uterus, fallopian tubes, ovaries and abdomen. Bacteria present in the vagina and cervix can also have a precipitating effect on the Pelvic Inflammation. Usually multiple organisms are responsible for a bout of PID. Spreading of the infection can lead to further inflammation and scarring.
Women suffering from PID experience high fever and chills. Dull pain in the lower abdomen and lower back are typical symptoms of pelvic inflammatory disease. A woman suffering from pelvic inflammatory disease may also experience fever and irregular menstrual bleeding. Other symptoms of Pelvic Inflammatory Disease are pain during intercourse and urination. Some women do not experience any symptoms at all. Laboratory tests for chlamydia, gonorrhea and urinary tract infection are conducted on a patient who might be suffering from PID. A pelvic ultrasound helps in looking for any abnormalities in the pelvic area or fallopian tubes. Pelvic Inflammatory Disease can also be diagnosed with falloposcopy - a visual study of the inside of the fallopian tubes.
Treatment for pelvic inflammatory disease is based on pelvic examination and examination of the woman's sexual and menstrual history. Antibiotic therapy of Floxin is used as oral medication for PID. This is the first FDA approved oral therapy for PID. Other drugs used in combination for treatment of Pelvic Inflammatory Disease are Cefoxitin, Oflaxocin, Clindamycin. If left untreated, pelvic inflammatory disease can lead to severe and permanent damage of the reproductive organs.
Intrauterine Device IUD
IUD - Intra Uterine Device is a birth control measure that prevents fertilization. The IUD is inserted inside a woman's uterus to prevent pregnancy. This is a highly reliable form of birth control - nearly 150 million women use it worldwide. The IUD prevents pregnancy by either interfering with the movement of sperm to fertilize the egg or by preventing implantation of a fertilized egg.
Modern IUDs resemble a matchstick and have a T shaped bar across the top. When inserted into the uterus, the arms of the T open out and extend horizontally across the uterus. This birth control measure is nearly 11/2 inches long and is usually made of copper and plastic. The Copper IUDs can be kept in place for nearly 10 years and have a low failure rate. The progesterone- based IUDs release a form of progesterone that makes the mucus in the uterus sticky thereby preventing sperm from getting to the uterus.
The IUD offers a woman birth control without affecting the hormone levels in her body. Another advantage is that fertility is restored as soon as the IUD is removed. The IUD is a cost effective method of preventing pregnancy. It can be safely used during breast-feeding and does not involve routine check ups. IUDs however do not provide any protection against sexually transmitted diseases. An IUD is a preferred form of birth control when you are married or have only one sexual partner. Women who have had a history of ectopic pregnancies must not use IUD as a birth control measure. It is also not advised for women with uterine abnormalities, heavy bleeding and fibroids. No woman must get an IUD inserted unless she is certain that she is not pregnant. IUDs are not advised for teenagers and women who have never had children.
Side effects of IUDs may be an increased risk of PID - Pelvic Inflammatory Disease. Some women complain of heavier periods on account of the IUD. Spotting between periods is another complaint by women who have opted for IUD. A rare possibility is of the IUD perforating the uterus. In about 5% of the cases, the IUD is expelled from the uterus into the vagina in the first few months of use.
Menorrhagia refers to excessive loss of blood during menstruation. Many pre-menopausal women experience menorrhagia as a response to erratic hormonal activity. The endometrium may develop in excess due to hormonal imbalance and lead to heavy menstrual bleeding. Uterine polyps can lead to cases of menorrhagia. Polyps occur due to excessive hormone production or consumption.
Uterine fibroids or tumors can trigger off heavier than normal menstrual bleeding or prolonged menstrual bleeding. Women suffering from pelvic Inflammatory disease, thyroid problems and liver or kidney disease are also likely to notice excessive bleeding. In rare cases, menorrhagia is caused due to deficiency of vitamin K. Women who use IUD for birth control are likely to face excessive menstrual bleeding. Cancers of the female reproductive organs such as cervix cancer, ovarian cancer and uterine cancer cause excessive bleeding.
Tranexamic acid tablets are often prescribed to reduce excessive blood loss during menstruation. It is taken at the beginning of the period and does not stop menstrual bleeding. Tranexamic acid is not a contraceptive. It works on helping the blood in the uterus to clot. Often it is combined with an NSAID. Possible side effects include indigestion, diarrhea, headache and back pain. If the patient has a history of blood clots, tranexamic acid might not be advised.
Endometrial sampling is taken to check for cause of menorrhagia. Hysteroscopy and vaginal ultrasound aids in clinical diagnosis. Once the cause for excessive bleeding is identified, treatment is undertaken accordingly. Thyroid malfunction is treated with medication or birth control pills. Hysterectomy is performed for women who suffer prolonged heavy menstrual bleeding.
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Bibliography / Reference
Collection of Pages - Last revised Date: April 23, 2019