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Pelvic inflammatory disease

Pelvic inflammatory disease
Pelvic inflammatory disease
Causes and Risk Factors

Pelvic inflammatory disease
Pelvic inflammatory disease, or PID, is a general term that refers to infection and inflammation of the upper genital tract in women. In the United States, more than 1 million women seek treatment for acute PID each year but a greater number of women may experience PID and not know it. PID can eventually lead to infertility or even death. So what happens during this type of infection? And what parts of the body does PID affect?

Female anatomy
Pelvic inflammatory disease is unique to women and affects some of the sex organs of the upper genital tract. Following are some common terms and definitions that can help you to better understand PID.

Cervix - The cervix is the lowest part of the uterus, which is thin and is in contact with the vagina. The cervix has a small opening which softens and distends during childbirth so that the child can pass from the uterus into the vagina and outside of women’s body.

Fallopian tubes – The fallopian tubes are located at the top of the uterus and carry eggs (ova) from the ovaries to the womb. During a normal pregnancy, the ova are fertilized in the fallopian tubes.

Menstrual cycle - The menstrual cycle is the regular monthly process that causes an egg to be released from the ovaries so that a woman can get pregnant. The menstrual cycle causes a menstrual period, the bleeding that occurs when an egg is left unfertilized and is expelled from the body.

Ovulation –
Ovulation occurs when an egg (ovum) is released from ovaries and moves toward the uterus. Ovulation usually occurs once every month.

What is pelvic inflammatory disease?
Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is an infection of the female reproductive organs, specifically the uterus, fallopian tubes and ovaries. Normally, the cervix prevents bacteria in the vagina from spreading to the upper genital tract. However, sexually transmitted infections (STIs) such as gonorrhea or chlamydia can infect the cervix. When this occurs, bacterial infections can travel to the internal organs, creating inflammation and further infection days or months later. In these cases, the fallopian tubes may be damaged, making it difficult for her to become pregnant. Doctors may also refer to specific aspects of PID using any of the following clinical terms:

  • Oophoritis – infection of the ovaries
  • Salpingitis – infection of the fallopian tubes
  • Salpingo-peritonitis - infection of both fallopian tubes and peritoneum
  • Salpingo-oophoritis - infection of both fallopian tubes and ovaries

Are you or someone you know at risk of developing pelvic inflammatory disease? And what causes this potentially serious condition? Click here for more on risk factors and causes of PID and pelvic pain.

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Tags: bacterial infections, normal pregnancy, menstrual cycle, become pregnant, fallopian tubes, Infertility, Childbirth, infections, Pregnancy, menstrual, gonorrhea, bacterial, infection, treatment, pregnant, bacteria, anatomy, affects, period, cervix
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