PID is the most common but preventable cause of infertility in the United States. Treatment depends how severe the infection is. Prompt and appropriate treatment can help prevent complications of PID. However, without treatment, PID can cause permanent damage to the female reproductive organs. Treatment goals include:
About 1 in 4 women diagnosed with PID stay in the hospital to receive treatment. Treatment includes intravenous (IV) antibiotics, followed by oral antibiotics. Women who are seriously ill, pregnant or HIV-positive, or have not responded to oral medications may require hospitalization. You may also need to go to hospital if:
PID may be caused by more than one type of infection. So your doctor will likely prescribe at least two antibiotics to work against different types of bacteria. Avoid having sex until you and your partner have both finished taking any prescribed medications to prevent the transmission of an infection back and forth. Your doctor should request a follow-up visit a few days after starting treatment to make sure the medicine is working. If you haven't got better, you may need to go to a hospital for tests or more treatment.
Antibiotics - Antibiotics are good at treating pelvic inflammatory disease. Antibiotics in pill form are generally prescribed for mild cases of PID. For women with more severe infection or for those who don't respond to the medication, intravenous injections of antibiotics may be recommended. Be sure to go to your follow-up appointments, and let your doctor know if the symptoms get worse. Combinations of antibiotics are used to treat PID which may include:
- Ceftriaxone (brand name Rocephin)
- Clindamycin (Dalacin)
- Gentamicin (Cidomycin, Genticin)
Symptoms may go away before the infection is cured. Even so, it's very important that you finish taking the medicine, to make sure the infection is completely cured. If you do not complete antibiotic treatment, infections might come back.
In order to prevent pelvic inflammatory disease, you can first avoid sexual contact with people who are at risk of infection. Then, if you decide to have sex, first ask your partner to get tested for sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Testing can detect STDs that may not be producing symptoms yet.
A male partner should always wear a condom during sexual activity. Even though the condom will not prevent 100% of STIs, condoms greatly reduce chances for infection. Other actions that can help prevent PID include:
You probably won't need any treatments for pelvic inflammatory disease apart from antibiotics. Surgery is rarely necessary and is considered only for women diagnosed with severe cases of PID. Complications such as an abscess in the fallopian tubes may require an operation. In addition, surgery may be performed on women who don't respond to treatment or who received a questionable diagnosis, such as when one or more of the signs or symptoms of PID are absent.
IUD removal – In some cases, doctors recommend the removal of the contraceptive coil (IUD) as part of treatment for PID.
Laparoscopy – Laparoscopy is a procedure used to confirm PID diagnosis or to treat PID complications. A laparoscopy can also help your doctors evaluate the extend of damage PID has done to the reproductive organs. Via a small incision in the abdomen, doctors can use tiny instruments to drain fluid from the abscess or remove scar tissue.
Ruptured abscess drain - During this procedure, pelvic abscesses are treated using surgical instruments to drain away fluids or cut through scar tissue, during the same operation.
Surgical removal of infected areas - If you're badly infected and do not respond to antibiotics, your doctor may suggest surgical removal or repair of the infected areas.
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