What is PID?

Could your infertility be the result of PID? PID (Pelvic Inflammatory Disease) is an infection in your fallopian tubes and ovaries. It is usually the result of bacteria and germs, most often because of a sexually transmitted disease. This infection is actually fairly common, especially in the United States, with more than one million women being diagnosed every year. Even more interesting is that doctors estimate that 20 percent of all infertility issues are the result of PID.

What are the symptoms of PID? Although the symptoms are different for every woman, the most common indicators are a combination of fever, severe pain, abnormal vaginal discharge, pain during sex, pain in the pelvic region, vomiting, abnormal bleeding during periods and painful urination. Since PID can cause damage to the reproductive organs, you will want to make sure to tell your doctor about any and all the symptoms that you may be experiencing.

Specifically, PID infects, damages and scars the reproductive organs. The fallopian tubes are at great risk to become scarred or blocked as a result of the disease. This is an issue because they provide the pathway for the eggs and sperm to travel to the uterus. You have probably heard of an ectopic pregnancy…..this is what happens if you become pregnant while your fallopian tubes are blocked. The egg is forced to grow in the fallopian tubes since it can’t reach the uterus. This is dangerous because the tubes can rupture and bleed. The embryo is also not able to mature, and every pregnancy is lost.

To diagnose PID, your doctor will most likely ask questions about your sexual history, take your temp, take a blood sample and do a pelvic exam. In some cases they may also perform an ultrasound, endometrial biopsy or laparoscopy. Because your reproductive organs are hidden inside your body, PID is often hard to diagnose. It also presents itself like other medical conditions such as an ectopic pregnancy or appendicitis. So it is really important to advocate for yourself with your doctor if you feel like you may suffer from the disease!


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By TTC veteran and mother of two, Elizabeth Andrews.