What is Pelvic Inflammatory Disease?
Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) is an infection of the female reproductive organs. The fallopian tubes, uterus, and ovaries can all be affected by PID. If left untreated, the infection may spread beyond the reproductive organs into the abdominal (peritoneal) cavity.
About Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
PID is particularly common in younger women. Some women may have PID for years without developing any noticeable symptoms. Other women may experience significant symptoms almost as soon as they are infected.
Left untreated, PID may affect fertility, as well as cause considerable pain and discomfort. Ectopic pregnancy is also more common in PID sufferers. As younger women are more prone to PID, it's important that they test for this common condition regularly to minimize the risk of unwanted reproductive complications later in life.
Risk Factors for Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
Common risk factors for Pelvic Inflammatory Disease include:
- Being a younger, sexually active woman. Women under the age of 25 are at particular risk of developing PID
- Becoming sexually active at a young age.
- Having several sexual partners.
- Having unprotected sex (sex without a condom).
- Having unprotected sex with a partner who has had multiple sexual partners.
- Using vaginal douching as a hygiene measure.
- Having a history of PID.
It's important to note that although multiple sexual partners increase the risk of introducing bacteria into the reproductive area that can lead to PID, women don't have to be sexually promiscuous to contract PID.
In some instances, PID is caused by infection following some form of trauma to the vaginal tract. IUD insertion, childbirth, an abortion, a medical procedure involving the vagina, or a miscarriage.
Discreet, early testing can pick up PID, enabling it to be swiftly treated and resolved in most cases.
Causes of Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
PID is caused by bacteria entering the vaginal canal. In most cases, the bacteria go no further than the cervix. If the infection remains untreated, the bacteria may pass up into the uterus, where they may begin to multiply, creating inflammation. Over time, the infection may spread further into the Fallopian tubes and ovaries.
Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) that are due to bacteria (rather than viruses) are a common cause of PID. These include chlamydia, mycoplasma genitalium, and gonorrhea.
In addition, bacteria that naturally occur in the vaginal canal (such as Gardnerella vaginalis, Streptococcus agalactiae, or Haemophilus influenza) may also cause PID if they penetrate through the cervix into the uterus.
Signs and Symptoms of Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
The signs and symptoms of PID may be pretty subtle, which means they can be easily missed. Some women remain asymptomatic until the infection is quite advanced, meaning considerable damage may already have been done.
If you are concerned about your PID risk or want peace of mind that you're not suffering from PID and aren't aware of it, a pelvic inflammatory disease lab test is the most accurate way of finding out if you're infected.
The main signs and symptoms of PID include:
- An abnormal vaginal discharge, which may be discolored and/or have an unpleasant odor.
- Abnormal vaginal bleeding between periods, and/or after sex.
- Pain in the lower abdominal area. The duration and severity of the pain may fluctuate over time.
- Difficulties and/or pain during urination (taking a pee).
- Pain during or after sex.
- A fever (which may cause chills, sweating, and a general feeling of unwellness).
If you have any of these symptoms, it's important to get properly tested to find out the cause. Although a PID test can be used to identify whether PID-causing bacteria are present in abnormal numbers, it can't pick up other causes of pain, bleeding, or discharge. In rare cases, these symptoms can be a sign of cancer, so early diagnosis is really important.
Occasionally, a PID infection can become particularly severe. If you experience the following symptoms, it's important to visit your care provider as soon as possible or attend at ER.
- Severe vomiting (especially if you can't keep down water).
- Severe abdominal pain.
- A high fever (more than 101 degrees Fahrenheit).
- A foul-smelling vaginal discharge.
Remember that, in most cases, a course of suitable antibiotics is all that's needed to treat PID successfully.
If left untreated, in the long-term PID may cause:
- Chronic pain
- An increased risk of ectopic pregnancy
- Abscesses in the ovaries and/or Fallopian tubes.
Prompt PID testing is safe, discreet, and fast, giving you the answers you need to make informed decisions about your health.
Lab Tests for Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
A definitive diagnosis of PID usually involves both a swab test (a swab is inserted into the vagina to collect a sample) and a blood test to investigate whether an unusually high number of white blood cells (WBC) are present. A high WBC count frequently indicates an infection.
Typically, PID Lab Tests include:
- Swab test for Chlamydia
- Swab test for Gonorrhoea
- Complete Blood Count (blood test)
- A urinalysis (to rule out a UTI as the cause of the symptoms)
- CRP (C-reactive Protein). A positive CRP may be a sign of an infection.
- A pregnancy test
- A cervical culture - this test investigates levels of bacteria on the cervix and can be used to try and identify the cause of PID.
FAQs About Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
Is PID linked to promiscuity?
A proportion of PID infections are caused by STDs, but this isn't always the case. Many other cases occur due to pregnancy, childbirth, or trauma. For a fair percentage of cases, the cause of the infection isn't clear. PID lab tests offer the best way to quickly diagnose PID, enabling it to be effectively treated quickly.
Can Damage Caused by PID be Reversed?
While effective treatment can halt PID damage, it's unfortunately rare that the damage can be reversed. This is why prompt PID diagnosis, using pelvic inflammatory disease lab testing alongside other diagnostic methods, is so important.
FAQs About Lab Testing for Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
How long will I have to wait for my results?
In most cases, your results will be ready in one to two business days.
Do I have to tell anyone about my results?
Your results are completely confidential. However, we would urge you to share your results with your physician in order to get the care and treatment that you need.
Ulta Lab Tests provides a cost-effective, accurate, fast, secure, and confidential PID testing service. By getting tested, you can take control of your health and make informed decisions while monitoring the changes in your health.
Order your low-cost pelvic inflammatory disease lab tests today.
Testing for PID
If you're showing signs of Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID), you need to be proactive. If left untreated, the infection can spread and get worse.
Ulta Lab Tests offers tests that are highly accurate and reliable, so you can make informed decisions about your health. Here are a few great things to love about Ulta Lab Tests:
- You'll get secure and confidential results.
- You don't need health insurance.
- You don't need a physician's referral.
- You'll get affordable pricing.
- We offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee.
Order your PID lab tests today, and your results will be provided to you securely and confidentially online in 24 to 48 hours for most tests.