PID occurs as a consequence of bacterial infection like gonorrhoea and chlamydia. In severe cases, PID can cause permanent damage by developing scar tissues on the female internal reproductive organs. The scar tissue can completely block the fallopian tubes which would prevent the sperm and egg from meeting, hence causing infertility.
In cases, where there is partial blockage or slight damage to the fallopian tube, the fertilized egg is prevented from leaving the tube, thus leading to an ectopic or tubal pregnancy. Ectopic pregnancies can stand to rupture the fallopian tubes causing severe pain, internal bleeding, and even death. Whereas, scarring of the fallopian tubes and ovaries can lead to pelvic pain that lasts for months or even years.
Some of the common symptoms associated with PID are:
- Mild pain in the pelvic region
- Vaginal discharge
- Painful intercourse
However, some women may not experience any kind of symptoms, although serious damage to their internal reproductive organs may be occurring.
When it comes to planning a pregnancy, keep in mind that If PID is mild and treated early, chances of being able to get pregnant are high. One episode of PID is unlikely to affect fertility. But, women who have severe PID or if PID goes untreated, then chances of the fallopian tubes blocked are higher. Repeated episodes of PID greatly increase your risk of not being able to get pregnant. Damage to the fallopian tubes as a result of PID also increases the risk of an ectopic pregnancy.
In case a woman is detected with PID, first and foremost, the damage caused to the fallopian tubes is to be assessed. This is generally done through a laparoscopic surgery. If a problem is found, there are two treatment options:
- In vitro fertilisation (IVF) treatment
- Tubal surgery to repair any damage or unblock your fallopian tubes
Women should, however, try to get pregnant the natural way for a year or two if PID is mild or moderate. If someone hasn’t conceived in 18 months or so, a fertility specialist may suggest IVF.