Feature Articles

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Sunday, February 7, 2010

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) harmful to our mothers


IN THIS article, I wish to draw your attention to another major sex related problem our sisters and mothers may encounter as a result of excessive and unprotected sexual behavior. 

I remember talking to you about cervical cancer and the relationship it has with the Human Papiloma Virus or HPV. Now I wish to expound on another medical problem exclusive to our beloved mothers and sisters. 

Well sex is good and is enjoyable as I've said time and time again.  But good things come with their foes.  Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) is very common in our country.  Each of the bacteria, protozoa, virus or parasite that is transmitted through sex has immense negative impacts on the lives of many families - especially husbands and wives in our country. One such problem that is common to the female population of this country is Pelvic Inflammatory Disease or PID.

What is PID?
Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) is a general term that refers to infections of the uterus (womb), fallopian tubes (tubes that carry eggs from the ovaries to the uterus) and other reproductive organs.  It is a common and serious complication caused by of some sexually transmitted infections, especially chlamydia and gonorrhea.

PID can damage the fallopian tubes and tissues in and near the uterus and ovaries. PID can lead to serious consequences, including infertility, ectopic pregnancy (a pregnancy in the fallopian tube or elsewhere outside of the womb), and obscess formation and chronic pelvic pain.
How common is PID?

PID is a very common problem all over the world.  More than 100,000 women become infertile each year due to causes of PID.  In the United States alone, it is estimated that 1 million women experience an episode of acute PID. 

There aren't enough documents and research done to show how urgent PID is in PNG.  But as you visit clinics, health centers and hospitals, clinicians will tell you that PID is a very serious and urgent health problem in the country.

"Mothers come every day to the clinic complaining of abdominal pains. I just give them pain killers, because I only have that (medicine) with me," Jenny Huambi at the Gangalu Health Centre in Mananda, Komo district told me once.

"I even don't know if this are causes of STI or any other infections," this community health worker, who has been working in this clinic for the past 13 years said.

To shed some light into this particular disease, I wish to explore more to give confidence to our sisters and mothers who can easily access clinical services to serve their life from intimidations, confusion and motherhood.
How do women get PID?

PID occurs when bacteria move upward from a woman's vagina or cervix (opening to the uterus) into her reproductive organs.  Many different organisms can cause PID, but many cases are associated with gonorrhea and chlamydia, the two very common bacterial STIs.

Sexually active women in their child bearing years are most at risks, and those under age 25 are more likely to develop PID than those older than 25.  This is partly because the cervix of teenage girls and young women are not fully matured, increasing their susceptibility to the STIs that are linked to PID.

The more sex partners a woman has, the greater her risks of developing PID.  Also a woman whose partner has more than one partner is at greater risk of developing PID, because of potential to exposure to more infectious agents. 

Women who douche may have a higher risk of developing PID compared with women who do not douche.  Research has shown that douching changes vaginal flora (organisms that live in the vagina) in harmful ways and force bacteria into the upper reproductive organs from the vagina.
Some signs and symptoms
Symptoms of PID vary from none to severe.  When PID is caused by chlamydial infections, a woman may experience mild symptoms or no symptom at all, while serious complications/damages is being done to her reproductive organs.  Because of vague symptoms, PID goes unrecognized by woman and their health care providers about two thirds of the time.  Women who have symptoms of PID mostly common have lower abdominal pain.  Other signs and symptoms include fever, unusual virginal discharge that may have a four smell/odor, painful intercourse, painful urination, irregular menstrual bleeding and pain in the right upper abdomen (rare).
PID is difficult to diagnose because the symptoms are often subtle and mild.  Many episodes of PID go undetected because the women or her health care provider fails to recognize the implications of mild or non specific symptoms.  Because there are no precise tests for PID, a diagnosis is usually based on clinical findings.

Therefore, this means that every woman or girl under the age of 25 should report or tell her health care provider of anything unusual that she detects about her personal experiences and life - especially anything to do with her sex life.  It is very important that young girls should prevent themselves from the gonorrhea or chlamydia diseases.  These two STIs cause PID.  It is very important that girls and mothers who have unprotected sex, sex without a condom should see their doctors or health care providers to get medications that will demise the PID development. Gonorrhea and Chlamydia destroys the reproductive organs that can lead to infertility and chronic pelvic pain.

Husbands who are not faithful to their wives or girlfriends and have multiple sexual partners should check themselves for STIs and get treatments before they should have sex with their wives or girlfriends.  This is being responsible and caring.

Remember readers, sex is beautiful so enjoy it with your hubby. God made it sacred and enjoyable for two people (a husband and wife) to enjoy the ultimate gift of marriage.

It would be sinister to plunder around, contract a virus from someone and download it onto an innocent person allowing her/him to suffer unknowingly. This is really unethical, inhuman and unchristian.

Again remember, all STIs except HIV have medication.  Go quickly to the health centre, ask the nurses and get treatments. 



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