Pelvic Inflammatory Disease and Infertility
Q: My doctor said that my infertility problems may be related to my having
PID without knowing it in the past. What is PID?
Dr. Donnica: PID, or pelvic inflammatory disease, is an infection of
the internal reproductive tract, usually caused by invasion of either gonorrhea
or chlamydia from the cervix up to the uterus and tubes. While the infection
causes an intense inflammatory response, usually with pain and other symptoms,
it is possible to have had chlamydial PID without knowing it.
Bacteria, white blood cells and other fluids (pus) fill the tubes as the body
fights the infection. Eventually, the bacteria are controlled and destroyed,
ideally after treatment with antibiotics. During this process the delicate inner
lining of the tubes (tubal mucosa) is permanently scarred. The end of the tube
by the ovaries may become partially or completely blocked, and scar tissue can
form on the outside of the tubes and ovaries. All of these factors can impair
ovarian or tubal function, which contributes to infertility. When PID is treated
early and aggressively with antibiotics, the tubal damage may be minimized and
fertility can be maintained.
Created: 9/15/2002  - Donnica Moore, M.D.