What is Pelvic Inflammatory Diseases and Pelvic Adhesions?

What is Pelvic Inflammatory Diseases and Pelvic Adhesions?

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease or PID refers to an infection in a woman’s reproductive organs. This infection usually begins in the cervix and spreads to the uterus, ovaries, fallopian tubes and surrounding tissue. The condition may also be referred to as:

  • Cervicitis or inflammation of the cervix
  • Salpingitis or inflammation of the fallopian tubes
  • Endometritis or inflammation of the uterine lining
  • Peritonitis or inflammation of the peritoneum

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease is typically caused by a bacterial infection. In most cases, this is a sexually transmitted bacterium. Chlamydia and Gonorrhea are the two most common STDs that cause PID. If left untreated the disease can cause infertility.

Complications of Pelvic Inflammatory Diseases

PID can cause permanent damage to a woman’s reproductive organs. Some of the common complications that may arise are:

Abscesses - An abscess refers to a pus-filled mass that develops around the infected tissue in the ovaries of the fallopian tubes. An abscess can be very painful and take a long time to heal.

Pelvic Adhesions - Inflamed tissue in the ovaries and the fallopian tube can turn into scar tissue over time. Bands of scar tissue that bind the ovaries, fallopian tubes, uterus and other pelvic organs together are known as pelvic adhesions.

Blocked Fallopian Tubes - An abscess, adhesion or scar tissue can create blockages in the fallopian tubes. This may also damage the cilia in the fallopian tubes. This type of scar tissue is a common cause of infertility as it prevents the sperms from reaching the eggs in the fallopian tube for fertilizing. In some cases, the sperm may be able to swim to the fallopian tube and fertilize the egg, but the resultant embryo cannot reach the uterus and gets attached there itself. This is known as an ectopic pregnancy and can be fatal for the mother.

Peritonitis - A PID infection that spreads beyond the reproductive organs and affects other organs in the abdomen like the bowel and bladder is known as peritonitis.