Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
Dr. Charles "Pat" Davis, MD, PhD, is a board certified Emergency Medicine doctor who currently practices as a consultant and staff member for hospitals. He has a PhD in Microbiology (UT at Austin), and the MD (Univ. Texas Medical Branch, Galveston). He is a Clinical Professor (retired) in the Division of Emergency Medicine, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, and has been the Chief of Emergency Medicine at UT Medical Branch and at UTHSCSA with over 250 publications.
Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is infection of a woman's reproductive
organs. Infection spreads upward from the cervix to the uterus, Fallopian tubes,
ovaries, and surrounding structures. Some of these conditions are also referred
salpingitis (inflammation of the Fallopian tubes);
endometritis (inflammation present in the lining tissues of the uterus);
peritonitis (inflammation of the peritoneum, the membrane that lines the
abdominal cavity and covers most of the abdominal organs).
All of these
conditions may be considered as specific diseases but many investigators group
them together as variations of PID, especially if they are caused by either Chlamydia trachomatis or
Bacteria can infect the Fallopian tubes and cause inflammation (salpingitis).
When this happens, normal tissue can become scarred and block the normal passage
of an egg, causing infertility. But if Fallopian tubes are partially blocked, an
egg may implant outside the uterus and cause a dangerous condition called an
ectopic pregnancy. An ectopic pregnancy can cause internal bleeding and even
death. Scar tissue may also develop elsewhere in the abdomen and cause pelvic
pain that can last for months or years.
PID can cause a wide variety of symptoms. Some women can be very ill and
have severe pain and fever. Others can have no obvious symptoms or even appear
ill. Thus, PID is not always easy to diagnose. But it is important for women to
seek medical attention if they have any risk factors for PID or symptoms of PID.
PID affects more than 1 million women in the United States per year. Nearly
250,000 women are hospitalized annually because of PID.
Sexually active adolescent females and women younger than 25 years are at
greatest risk, although PID can occur at any age.