In the long list of not-often-talked-about conditions, pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) has a “reserved” spot. It’s a condition where the female reproductive organs become infected, typically as a result of sexually transmitted diseases and occasionally UTIs. Despite declining incidences, PID still affects an estimated 2.5 million women in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). If not treated, it can cause permanent damage to your internal organs and, in some cases, even be so severe that surgery is required. This is just another reason why preventative care is so important, in addition to seeing your doctor at first sign that something is not right, as there is no over-the-counter treatment for PID.
Recently, however, a new study came out that found acupuncture to be an effective treatment for PID. This does make sense, given the fact that acupuncture can improve blood flow, even to your pelvic region, and facilitate the healing and killing of the bacteria responsible for it. Acupuncture also helps with the immune system, which is beneficial whenever you’re body’s fighting off an infection of any kind. The goal of the study was not to shoot down antibiotics or surgery in any way, as both can be effective and necessary treatment plans, depending on the patient and the severity of their condition; however I find it’s more important to look at the root cause of any condition before signing off on a prescription note. Here’s a deeper dive into the condition and some additional solutions for preventing and treating it.
What is Pelvic Inflammatory Disease PID?
PID is most often caused by sexually transmitted diseases, such as gonorrhea or chlamydia, and can be brought on by other infections if they go untreated. However, most of the time, it occurs when bacteria that’s sexually transmitted travels up the vaginal canals and passes the cervix, which serves as border control for the rest of your reproductive system. Once the cervix is exposed, the internal organs become inflamed and infected and can cause irreversible damage, including preventing a woman from becoming pregnant.
What are symptoms of pelvic inflammatory disease PID?
While symptoms do differ from patient to patient and depending on the severity, here are the most common:
- Lower abdominal pain and discomfort
- Yellow or green vaginal discharge that has an unpleasant smell
- Irregular periods
- High fever that’s often accompanied by the chills
- Nausea and vomiting
- Pain during sex
- Low back pain
- Painful urination
Treating chronic pelvic inflammatory disease PID:
If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms above, see your doctor as soon as possible to prevent the condition from worsening. While antibiotics are the most common course of treatment, it’s important to take the following steps to further protect yourself.
- Get your partner treated: This is a must. Even if you’re not seeing this person consistently, if he has exposed you to PID, he also must be treated so he won’t infect you again.
- I recommend scheduling acupuncture sessions weekly at first to help bring balance and promote healing as quickly as possible.
- Take probiotics. I recommend using probiotics with at least 5-10 billion CFU (check the bottle). Look for higher lactobacillus quantities (gut-friendly bacteria) and with strains of bifidobacteria.
- Add additional supplements. Another great supplement is magnesium—aim for 25-50 mg of the stuff a day. I recommend citrate or glycinate. High doses of vitamin C can also help with immune support.