What are the Risks of a Pelvic Adhesions?
Pelvic adhesions are a common issue that affects many people who have had abdominal or gynaecological surgery. It may even affect people who have not had surgery but have suffered from infections such as pelvic inflammatory disease. In many cases, the condition is asymptomatic and is diagnosed only when it causes complications with pregnancy. In many instances, it can lead to infertility.
Risks of Pelvic Adhesions
Some of the risks associated with pelvic adhesions are:
Pelvic adhesions can bind reproductive organs such as the fallopian tubes, ovaries and the uterus together. This is seen especially in cases where pelvic adhesions are caused by endometriosis. In such cases, the scar tissue creates a blockage in the fallopian tubes restricting the movement of the sperm to the eggs and the embryos back to the uterus. This, as you know, may lead to female infertility which refers to a woman's inability to conceive despite having well-timed, unprotected sexual intercourse for a year.
An ectopic pregnancy refers to a pregnancy where the egg is fertilized and begins to develop outside the uterus. This type of pregnancy cannot continue until full term and may be life-threatening for the mother.
High Risk of Post-Operative Complications
Pelvic adhesions are often the result of an abdominal or pelvic surgery. In such cases, these adhesions may develop immediately after the procedure or within 5 days of undergoing the procedure. When pelvic adhesions develop, they may increase the risk of post-operative complications. This includes wound infections, leaks and haemorrhages. As a result, the patient may need special care and may have to be hospitalized for longer.
High Risk of Complications during Subsequent Surgeries
Adhesions bind internal organs together. Hence it increases the risk of complications during any subsequent surgeries. It can also make these surgeries more complex.
Chronic Pelvic Pain
Pelvic adhesions are largely asymptomatic. When symptoms are present, the most common symptom associated with them is a chronic pelvic pain. This is typically noted in cases where pelvic adhesions are associated with bowel obstruction.
Adhesion-related disorder (ARD)
ARD refers to a group of symptoms that may develop as a result of pelvic adhesions. These symptoms can last for months and in some cases, even years. ARD is characterized by chronic pelvic pain, bowel obstruction, infertility, urinary bladder dysfunction, emotional disorders such as depression and pain while sitting or lying down in certain positions.