Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
In order to have babies women have to be implanted with sperm. They have to supply just the right warm, moist, comfortable environment to allow the fertilised egg to implant. The problem is that bacteria and viruses readily take advantage of this. It is an excellent way for them to be propagated since their requirements are exactly the same as those of a fertilised egg. So it is no surprise that there are a myriad of bacteria, yeast and viruses that take advantage of this situation.
Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is difficult to treat because the infection is deep seated. Prevention is better than cure. Largely speaking one can only acquire these infections through sexual contact with a partner who is already infected. So the choice of one's sexual partner is paramount in protecting against pelvic inflammatory disease.
Women need to be especially careful because PID often involves stealth organisms which cause very few symptoms. Indeed the first symptoms of PID may be infertility as the fallopian tubes have been irreversibly damaged by infection. So it is very important that women are careful in their choosing of sexual partners and if there is any doubt they should insist that their partner attends a special clinic to be screened for infection.
The problem is compounded by the contraceptive pill. This has a profound immune suppressing effect and a growth promoting effect which further encourages infections. Progesterone is named from the Greek for pregnancy, it promotes growth and suppresses the immune system, both of which are vital for the nourishing of the unborn child. Again bacteria and viruses latch on to this to promote their own growth.
Symptoms of Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
PID produces inflammation which results in general symptoms such as fatigue, fever, malaise and local symptoms of inflammation namely pain, discharge, bleeding, and loss of function.
Diagnosis should ideally be done at a special clinic with high vaginal swabs, cervical swabs, blood tests and possibly scans. It needs to be treated aggressively and contact tracing should always be undertaken. There are probably more people visiting sexually transmitted diseases clinics than all other clinics put together! It is estimated that 10% of sexually active young adults are chronically infected. This is an example of how clever infectious organisms are in exploiting weaknesses in our defence.
Having diagnosed the infection, there are specific antibiotics and sometime antivirals which can be used to treat. However, with any antimicrobial there is only ever a percentage kill and it is up to the body to have a healthy immune system to kick out the remaining pathogens. In order to do this one needs to eat a Stone Age Diet, take my standard recommendations of Nutritional Supplements, get a good night's sleep on a regular basis, get the right balance between work and activity and possibly consider Detoxification.
UPDATE ON DIET - More often I now prescribe the ketogenic diet - please see Ketogenic diet - the practical details and My book The PK Cookbook - Go Paleo-ketogenic and get the best of both worlds.
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