By Kendra Whitmire
Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID), is a disease that only affects women. It occurs when there is an infection in the female reproductive organs. If left undiagnosed and untreated, it can cause irreparable damage to the uterus, ovaries, fallopian tubes, and others. PID is the number one cause of preventable infertility in women.
There are more than 1 million cases of PID each year. Out of those, more than 100,000 end up with serious complications resulting in infertility. Additionally, most of the ectopic (or tubal) pregnancies that occur each year (numbering about 100,000) can be linked to PID.
There are a few causes of PID. Essentially, it is an infection caused by bacteria. Typically, the cervix protects the uterus and other internal reproductive organs from any bacteria entering through the vagina. However, when the cervix is compromised, it cannot accurately perform its job and bacteria makes its way into the uterus and other organs.
One of the most common causes is a complication from a sexually transmitted disease. About 90% of cases are due to untreated gonorrhea and Chlamydia. Occasionally, problems with IUDs will lead to PID. Additionally, infectious complications from treatments involving the female reproductive organs, like abortion, childbirth, and other pelvic procedures can cause PID.
There are a few symptoms of PID, and they can vary. On common symptom is pain in the abdomen or stomach, especially the right upper abdomen. Vaginal discharge with an odd odor that is usually green or yellow can also be a symptom. Additionally, painful urination, chills or high fever, nausea and vomiting all can be warning signs. Pain during sex, especially if it was uncommon before, might mean that you have contracted PID.
If you have a STD, you are at a greater risk of getting PID. Naturally, if you already had PID, you hold a greater risk or reacquiring it. Additionally, if you have multiple sex partners you are a greater risk of both STDs and PID. Some studies have shown douching to attribute to PID because it can bring bacteria into the upper genital tract. If you have an IUD, you are also at a higher risk for PID.
Your doctor will perform some tests to see if you have PID. Initially, he or she will test your vaginal discharge to see if there is an infection and its cause. If your doctor suspects PID, there are further tests he or she may perform. These include blood testes, ultrasound, endometrial biopsy (a biopsy of the uterus to test). Additionally, if you doctor feels it is necessary, he or she will perform an invasive laparoscopy, a procedure where a thin instrument is inserted into the abdomen to allow your doctor to view the organs.
For most mild cases of PID, your doctor will prescribe antibiotics to treat and kill the bacteria. Your sexual partner(s) will also need to be treated for the infection so that you do not get re-infected. For more advanced cases, your doctor may perform surgery. In severe cases, a hysterectomy will be performed.
If you have any of these symptoms, see a doctor. Even if it is not PID, there will probably be another problem needing to be addressed. The sooner you catch PID and treat it, the better results you will have.
By Kendra Whitmire
Between 20 to 40% of American women regularly douche in order to feel fresh and clean. They also believe it is a great way to rid the vagina of unpleasant odors, lessen the risk of infection, wash away menstrual blood at the end of the cycle, and help prevent STDs and unwanted pregnancies. However, the clean and fresh feeling after douching is actually a lie. Doctors warn that douching is actually bad for your health and can actually lead to a risk in infections, pregnancy complications, and other problems. Any yeast infections, abnormal discharge or unusual odors will have an underlying cause for which you should consult with a doctor and treat alternatively.
The vagina has a natural balance of flora and acidity. If you throw that out of whack, then the vagina can become dry, itchy, or become infected. Douching products contain an antiseptic and fragrance. By douching with an antiseptic, some of the good, beneficial flora is killed. It also affects the acidity of the vagina, causing an imbalance of the pH in the vagina. This creates an environment favorable to unfriendly bacteria, which lead to infections.
Even though douching seems to be a good way to keep the vagina clean and fresh, that is a complete misnomer. The vagina is not meant to be fresh and clean. Additionally, it has its own natural way to cleanse itself and keep itself healthy. The helpful flora in the vagina protects it from infection, as does the acidity. The vagina cleanses itself through mucus production, which rids the vagina of blood, semen and other vaginal discharge. Some discharge and a slight odor is perfectly natural and part of the natural cleansing process. Washing with mild soap and water is all that you need to do.
Douching will not help prevent STDs and pregnancies. It is not a way to solve infections, as it actually does the opposite. In fact, regularly douching creates a 73% higher chance of getting pelvic inflammatory disease. It also increases the chance of pregnancy complications and makes it more difficult to become pregnant in the first place. It also raises the risk of having an ectopic pregnancy by 76%. Additionally, regular douching increases the chance of getting cervical cancer.
Sometimes, when the acidity of the vagina is out of whack, your doctor will recommended douching with vinegar to help restore the natural balance. This should only be done at the recommendation of a doctor.
The National Women’s Health Information Centre belongs to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It is a part of the Office on Women’s Health. This center has a site on the World Wide Web and through the site you can be linked to a large variety of material related to women’s health.
The National Women’s Health Information Center is all about women’s health resources. Several federal agencies as well as private sector resources help in maintaining and developing the National Women’s Health Information Center. The website also links you to the Office on Women’s Health from which you can access and download general or specific information about women’s health.
A lot of information about women’s health is available at this center through a toll-free information referral line. Most of the health topics which are covered here are women’s health issues, but there are other topics related to both men and women. But these topics are presented from a women’s perspective, which one can also find at the National Women’s Health Resource Center.
The website of the National Women’s Health Information Center also gives information about the best government and non-profit health and human services on the internet. It can then further link you to carefully selected information and websites, especially a large number of health related organizations. The same facilities are available from the National Women’s Health Resource Center, which is also a non-profit organization.
A monthly newsletter and many e-mails can link you to the National Women’s Health Information Center, through which you can get the latest health news, health tips and new online resources. You get information about awards won by companies related to health products and also learn about contributing agencies. Evaluation projects from different countries also makes interesting reading.
The National Women’s Health Information Center is managed by a Steering Committee which has representatives of Federal agencies. These include librarians and various specialists like consumer health information specialists, who make use of online consumer health information extensively.
There are several health centers which could be seen as sub-divisions of the National Women’s Health Information Center. Hence there is the metabolic syndrome health center, the midlife health center, the reproductive health center, the sexual health center, the breast health center and the wellness center.
In this way the center helps women to maximize their health. They can get expert advice, current medical information, news, tools, message boards and more. The government supports the organization and does not accept paid advertisements, content or links in any form.
It is important to get unbiased information on women’s health issues and also learn about the latest breakthroughs in alternative medicine, fitness or nutrition. This wealth of national women’s health information is available from several websites which deal with national women’s health. It is interesting to know that a lot of the latest information can be got from the National Women’s Health Information Center, along with some motivational guidance to help women achieve their health goals.
Sometimes there are weekly newsletters which provide national women’s health information. There are also health and wellness newsletters which discuss topics like alternative medicine and show how such alternative solutions can be good for the mind, body and soul.
Very often women believe in myths regarding some form of alternative medicine and by getting the national women’s health information, many of the facts are cleared. One can also go to some websites where more information is available on a specific subject. The information provided in most of the newsletters is given by experts like doctors and psychologists, and can be helpful to all readers.
Let us look at some of the common topics regarding national women’s health information. Fat loss and cholesterol reduction is a common subject and women want to know about new techniques in doing it. Otherwise there is a trend of using natural supplements and herbs against disease and for good health. Women do the shopping and the cooking in a household, so they must keep themselves informed about the nutritional values of natural supplements, so that they can integrate them in the daily diet of the family.
What You Should Avoid
All that is harmful is also discussed on the forum of the National Women’s Health Information Center. The harm that is caused by fast food and beverages, or some prescription drugs is reiterated, so that they can be avoided. A clinical psychologist is often available to give advice to women regarding aging process, menopause or arthritis. A lot of national women’s health information is also available from books, and they are recommended on several websites of the centers related to national women’s health.
It is important for every woman to inform herself about the nutrition that she needs and what she should avoid. Life moves at a hectic pace and often nutritious eating and regular physical activity takes a back seat. But take some time and read the national women’s health information available, it will make you want to lead a healthy life and inculcate healthy habits. Because after all, these healthy habits will lower your risk for diseases like diabetes, asthma, heart diseases and even cancer.
When you, as a woman, have a healthcare related problem or question, you don’t want to just go to any clinic to get your problem taken care of. You don’t want to go to a clinic that caters to both men and women because women require a special touch. To add to that, many women prefer just one doctor rather than see just whoever happens to be working at the moment. That’s why it’s good to find a women’s health care clinic in your area that you like for your complete healthcare for women. Once you find that special clinic, and that special doctor, you know you’ll always be treated with the attention and care that you, as a woman, deserve.
Find That Doctor
When you finally find a clinic to provide your complete healthcare for women, make sure you are completely comfortable with the doctor. Some women prefer a man and some prefer a woman; but you should always feel completely comfortable with your doctor no matter what procedures he or she is performing on you. If you, at any time, begin to feel the least bit uncomfortable; don’t be afraid to speak up and say so. Your doctor should know how to perform comprehensive health care for women, but he or she should also make you feel completely at ease. You can request another doctor at any time. That’s your right as a patient. After all, complete health care for women can be expensive so you should have a say in who sees you.
You also want to make sure that the clinic you choose for complete healthcare for women accepts your insurance. If you don’t have insurance, it might be a good idea to ask the clinic to recommend an affordable insurance company. Complete healthcare for women is not cheap so the more money that you can save getting your health care needs met; the better off you’ll be. If you do have insurance, and the clinic you like doesn’t take your insurance, change insurance companies. It’s as simple as that.
Feel More At Ease
Once you’ve found that perfect clinic, and doctor, you’ll feel at ease that all of your complete health care for women issues will be taken care of by a friendly and caring staff, a good doctor who knows how to provide comprehensive health care for women, and you know it’s going to be affordable because, hopefully, you’ve taken care of the insurance issue. Knowing you have that complete healthcare for women at your fingertips is sometimes all a woman needs to feel better no matter what she’s going through.
The issue of women’s health is one that is of great importance but one that often gets neglected. Whether you are a woman yourself or not, it is important that you are up to date on women and health issues and that you know where you can go to get women and health information.
Women’s Health Mag
This is one of the best resources for everything to do with women and health. This is a magazine that is also available online, one that really reaches a new generation of women who may not like the way that most other women’s magazines make them feel.
Rather than focusing on pin-thin models to use for their front covers, Women’s Health Mag believes in employing healthy, average sized women who are confident and who love themselves inside and out. They are the perfect resource for those women who are interested in learning about women and health but from a realistic point of view.
Whether you want to learn about fashions or sex and relationships, they have valuable insight into everything to do with women’s health, so take a bit of time to check them out and see what they have to offer.
Another fantastic resource for information on women and health is Healthy Women. They offer just about everything that you can think about, from the new Sex and the City movie news to information on sexually transmitted diseases and more.
They even feature regular publications that you can subscribe to so that you can always be kept up to date on the latest and most important information on the issue of women’s health.
The issue of women and mental health is another of great importance here, as mental health is of great importance to overall health in general. Women have children and more varying hormones in general and as a result are much more prone to mental problems. It is therefore important that all women keep their mental health in check and if they ever begin experiencing any problems or feeling out of sorts that they get in to see a medical professional as soon as they can.
You already know how important it is to stay in touch with your doctor and keep him abreast of your medical situation, but you should also do some researching on your own time and ensure that you are always keeping your health in check.