Treatment Issues for Women
Genital Tract Infections
Your vagina, cervix, ovaries, uterus and fallopian tubes are all part of your genital tract. Most genital tract infections begin in the vagina, where they're usually treated relatively easily. Many -- but not all -- of these infections are sexually transmitted, including chlamydia, gonorrhea, trichomonas (trich), human papilloma virus (HPV), herpes, and syphilis.
If left untreated, simple vaginal infections can progress up the vagina to your cervix, where they may cause inflammation (cervicitis), cellular abnormalities (dysplasia), or both. Since these conditions are already more common in positive women, it's important to seek prompt diagnosis and treatment for any symptoms you experience. Untreated infections can also progress further up your genital tract, infecting your uterus, ovaries, or fallopian tubes. Here, they can cause pain, inflammation, and reproductive complications.
PID (pelvic inflammatory disease) is a general term that refers to inflammation somewhere in your upper genital tract. Most cases begin with easy to treat infections like chlamydia or bacterial vaginosis. Though no more common in positive women, PID can seriously threaten your health when it does occur. The best way to prevent PID is to have regular GYN exams every six months -- sooner if you experience a symptom such as: ongoing stomach and/or lower back pain; irregular periods; abnormal bleeding; cervical tenderness (during sex or on exam); painful urination; abnormal vaginal discharge; or fever.
Even when you don't have symptoms, make sure to have regular and thorough GYN exams:
This article was provided by AIDS Community Research Initiative of America. Visit ACRIA's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.