Author: Manisha Purohit, M.D., FACOG
Every year, “more than one million women have an episode of PID,” reports womenshealth.gov. Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is an infection of the female pelvic organs, which include the uterus, fallopian tubes, ovaries, and cervix. While PID is most commonly caused by bacteria associated with chlamydia and gonorrhea, sexually transmitted infections aren’t the only cause of PID. Other infections unrelated to sexual activity can also cause PID.
If you’ve recently seen a provider for pelvic inflammatory disorder or any kind of pelvic infection, it’s essential that you follow your provider’s recommendations and seek follow-up care with a provider.
When Should I See My Provider?
Common symptoms associated with pelvic infection include:
- Pain in the lower abdomen
- Bleeding between periods or during sexual activity
- Painful urination
- Painful sex
- Unusual or foul-smelling vaginal discharge
If you experience any of the symptoms (whether you’ve been diagnosed with pelvic infection or not), you should contact your provider immediately. When it comes to STIs, the sooner you can get treatment, the better. Do not assume that an STI will get better on its own, or that symptoms will go away with time. Acting fast is important; as infections may be easier to treat the sooner they are identified, resolving the symptoms faster.
Seeking Follow-Up Care for Pelvic Infection
Once you see your gynecologist, you may be given oral or an intramuscular antibiotic to clear up the infection. (In severe cases, intravenous treatment may be necessary.) It is not uncommon for symptoms to fully resolve before the antibiotic therapy is complete. However, it’s essential that you complete the full course of antibiotics, as failure to do so could have serious health consequences. While you may feel better, the bacteria may not have been fully eradicated if you haven’t finished the antibiotics.
Your provider’s office likely scheduled a follow-up appointment after your initial treatment. It is very important to attend this follow-up appointment so your provider can monitor your treatment and recovery. If you are unable to make this follow-up appointment for any reason, let your provider’s office know in advance, and reschedule for the next available time.
Schedule Follow-Up Care for Pelvic Infection
If you’ve recently received treatment for a pelvic infection, schedule a follow-up appointment with your gynecologist. If you do not have a provider, contact us to schedule an appointment with a Valley-area OB/GYN. Learn more about care for gynecologic issues at Arizona Associates for Women’s Health.
Please consult with your provider before undertaking any form of medical treatment or adopting any exercise program or dietary guidelines.