Thursday, January 24, 2008

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease Requires Infertility Treatment

If you are a sexually active woman who has begun menstruating then you should know about pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). Educating yourself about this disease can help in prevent it or detect it in its early stages. This is a serious disease that can lead to life threatening illness if left untreated. It is estimated that 1 in 10 women will have PID, and 75% of the cases will occur in women under 25 years of age.

Pelvic inflammatory disease is an infection of the female reproductive organs. The infection is typically caused by harmful bacteria introduced to the vagina through unprotected sex with a person carrying STDs, such as Gonorrhoea or Chlamydia. Other causes of the infection may include an imbalance in the vagina’s normal bacteria or introduction into the uterus of harmful bacteria during medical procedures such as vaginal delivery, abortion, or dilation and curettage. Inflammation can occur in the uterus, fallopian tubes and in some cases the ovaries. If untreated, the infection can become quite severe and causing irreversible damage to the reproductive organs.

Inflammation from PID in the fallopian tubes often leads to infertility. It is the most common cause of ectopic pregnancy. This is when the fertilized egg is unable to make its way to the uterus and becomes lodged in the fallopian tubes. Ectopic pregnancy may be hard to detect as the symptoms experienced are similar to a normal pregnancy. Once the damage has been done, couples attempting to conceive will require infertility treatment, such as in vitro fertilization.

While actual symptoms vary among women, typical signs of PID are abdominal pain, pain during intercourse, and pain throughout the month similar to endometriosis symptoms. Other signs include malodorous (bad smelling) or unusual discharge from the vagina, burning pain while urinating, and unusual bleeding from the vagina. Some women will run periods of chills or high fever throughout the month combined with nausea and vomiting. Diagnosis of PID is usually determined when a patient suffers from the symptoms listed above and is confirmed by laboratory tests.

Typical treatment for pelvic inflammatory disease is a course of antibiotics taken by mouth, as well as medication for fever and pain. In severe and high risk cases, such as women who are pregnant, hospitalization is required for administration of intravenous antibiotics. It is recommended to abstain from sexual activity while completing the course of antibiotics. Although the bacteria that cause PID may be killed with antibiotics, there is no cure for this disease and it can be contracted again. Yearly pap smears can help with early detection. Prevention is best accomplished through monogamy, sex with only one partner as well as using condoms when sexually active. It is also critical to discuss sexual history, including STD’s, with your partner or partners.

If you are experiencing symptoms of PID, have had sex with someone you suspect may be carrying a sexually transmitted disease, or if you or your partner have multiple sexual relationships you should see your doctor immediately. Your life could depend on it.

About the Author: Eric Daiter has been sponsored by The NJ Center for Reproductive Medicine, a leading provider of infertility treatment, to write information about endometriosis symptoms. For more information, please visit www.infertilitytutorials.com

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Sunday, January 13, 2008

A Silent Epidemic

Billboards, television ads, and 7th grade health teachers all proclaim the message of safer sex, yet the U. S. Department of Health and Services estimates that 13 million people become infected with a sexually transmitted disease every year. According to the Center for Disease Control, Chlamydia is the most common sexually transmitted disease in the United States with 3 million new cases occurring each year. This article will talk about signs and symptoms of Chlamydia, how to treat it, and how to avoid it.

Chlamydia is caused by the bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis and is transmitted through vaginal, anal, or oral sex. It can also be transmitted to a new born baby as it passes through the birth canal of the infected mother. 50-75% of women infected with Chlamydia show no signs or symptoms and have no idea they are infected, which is why it is sometimes referred to as “the silent epidemic”. Chlamydia, when untreated, can cause pelvic inflammatory disease. This puts the woman at risk for infertility, endometriosis, and damage to the reproductive system. Endometriosis symptoms can be extremely painful, and if considering conception, may require infertility treatment. Common symptoms of Chlamydia include unusual vaginal bleeding or discharge, pain in the abdomen, fever, and painful urination. In order to diagnose Chlamydia a culture swab must be obtained

Once detected, Chlamydia can be cured with antibiotics. The most commonly used antibiotics in treatment of Chlamydia are Azithromycin, Doxycycline, Tetracycline, and Erythromycin. Antibiotics must be prescribed by a physician and are administered orally according to the doctor’s specifications. It is also important to complete your course of medication completely in order to recover from the infection. It may be a good idea to return to your doctor for Chlamydia testing every year, as it is possible to be re-infected with the disease even after treatment. Abstain from sex while being treated for the disease even if you no longer have symptoms. You can resume sexual activity once your course of antibiotics is finished.

The risk for transmission is dramatically reduced with the use of condoms with a water based lubricant, such as K Y Jelly. Petroleum based lubricants, such as Vaseline, should not be used because they break down latex (the material the condom is made of). The only sure way to avoid becoming infected with Chlamydia is abstinence (not having sex) or monogamy with an uninfected partner.

It is important for partners to discuss their sexual history before having sex and have STD tests done. Essential to prevention for sexually active individuals is an understanding of sexually transmitted diseases and how they are spread.

Eric Daiter has been sponsored by The NJ Center for Reproductive Medicine, a leading provider of infertility treatment, to write information about endometriosis symptoms. For more information, please visit www.infertilitytutorials.com

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