PID is often difficult to diagnose, and sometimes exists without symptoms Table 01 Table 02. PID is often difficult to diagnose because even when symptoms do appear, they can be mistaken for symptoms of a number of other problems, ranging from reproductive organ-related illnesses, such as endometriosis, to other abdominal conditions such as appendicitis.
Women may experience different symptoms of varying intensity, depending on where the infection is located and whether the disease is chronic or acute. Symptoms such as abdominal pain, fever, fatigue, vaginal discharge, and irregular menstrual bleeding may indicate PID.
One of the dangers of PID is that by the time symptoms appear or seem significant enough for you to seek treatment, the disease will often have progressed to a more severe stage.
Table 1. General Symptoms of PID
Vaginal discharge (may begin light, and become more puslike) Abdominal pain Back pain Pain during intercourse Irregular menstrual bleeding Fever Fatigue Diarrhea Vomiting
Table 2. Possible Symptoms of Chronic vs. Acute PID
Symptom Chronic PID Acute PID Abdominal pain None to a moderate, dull ache Generally severe Fever Low, if any High Nausea Moderate, if any Severe Vomiting Rarely Usually Vaginal discharge Yes, particularly if infection is IUD-related Yes, and may increase, have a stronger odor Irregular menstrual bleeding Not usually Sometimes Backache Mild, if any Severe Abdominal tenderness None to moderate Generally severe
Having unprotected sex or having sex with multiple partners puts you at risk for PID Table 03. Engaging in unsafe sexual practices puts you at risk for a sexually transmitted disease, including gonorrhea and chlamydia, which are two of the most common infections that lead to PID. A history of PID puts you at risk for recurrence.
PID is most often seen in young, sexually active females; especially in those having unprotected sex.
Table 3. Risk Factors for PID
: Unprotected sex Multiple partners Insertion of an intrauterine device (IUD) may increase the risk
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