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Pelvic Inflammatory Disease

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If a healthcare practitioner suspects that a woman has pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), then she will be treated regardless of whether the diagnosis can be confirmed. This is done because it takes very little scarring as a result of PID to cause infertility.

In most cases, treatment involves taking one or more antibiotics that are effective against several types of bacteria, including Chlamydia trachomatis and Neisseria gonorrhoeae. If specific bacteria are identified through testing, then the treatment is tailored to address that type of infection. A woman's sexual partner must also be treated so that the woman is not re-infected.

It is important to get diagnosed early and treated, and to take all the antibiotic prescribed even if symptoms improve. The earlier a woman gets successfully treated, the less likely she will develop complications from PID. Treatment will not reverse the damage already incurred but may prevent further damage to reproductive organs.

In most cases, treatment can be given on an outpatient basis, but if the woman is acutely ill, pregnant, or not responding to treatment, then she may require hospitalization. With more complicated cases, for example if an abscess has formed, surgery may be required.

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