Delving into infections of the female pelvis: An effect of bad sexual lifestyle?
The female reproductive organs are prone to infections just like any other part of the human body. If the Infections are related to the female reproductive system and are in the pelvis, it is Pelvic Inflammatory disease.
The U.S Department of Health and Human Services estimates that 4.4 per cent of women in the United States are affected by this condition. Also, in a population of women, 2.5million people between the ages of 18-44years have this condition.
The Centre for Disease Control estimates that more than one million women have an episode of PID every year. It has a rate of hospitalisation ranging between 125,000 and 150,000. The data clearly shows how prevalent it is within our female population.
Pelvic Inflammatory Disease is caused by single to multiple bacterial infections. Most of which, like Gonorrhoea and Chlamydia, are sexually transmitted. Frequent douching, use of intrauterine contraception devices, engagement with multiple sex partners, unprotected sexual intercourse, poor socioeconomic conditions, and younger age of first sexual intercourse are risk factors that influence women in developing Pelvic Inflammatory Disease.
It first enters the vagina by various means and through sexual intercourse. Over time, especially when the mucus plug falls off during ovulation, these bacterial infections ascend into the womb and eventually spread through the Fallopian tubes into the pelvis and blood.
Pelvic Inflammatory Disease can leave the patient with simple to severe life-threatening complications. CDC estimates that one (1) in eight (8) women have difficulty getting pregnant after a history of pelvic inflammatory disease. Other complications include recurrent pelvic pain and ectopic pregnancies.
Pelvic Inflammatory Disease may be asymptomatic. Women with symptoms complain of lower abdominal pain, fever, irregular menstrual periods, painful sexual intercourse, vaginal discharges, and vomiting.
Due to the above reasons, patients should seek medical care as soon as symptoms begin.
There is a need for safe sexual practices, avoidance of douching, proper wiping techniques, and a regular check for sexually transmitted diseases to reduce the incidence of pelvic inflammatory disease amongst young females.
Dr. Kwaku Anyimadu
(Ghana Police Hospital)
Dr Kwaku Anyimadu is a medical doctor and novelist with the Ghana Police Hospital. He has special interest in internal medicine and emergency care.
By Dr. Kojo Cobba Essel