At some point, you may develop health issues which affect your reproductive organs. For instance,
a pelvic infection can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), an infection of the reproductive organs. Different types of bacteria may cause it, but it's usually a result of a sexually transmitted infection or a vaginal bacterial infection. In addition, if you or your partner have sex with other partners, you have a higher chance of getting PID. PID can lead to serious health issues if neglected, such as infertility, ectopic pregnancy, or chronic pelvic pain, so it's definitely important to go to the doctor if you're experiencing any symptoms. Dr. Sherry A. Ross, women's health expert and author of , tells Bustle that practicing safe sex, getting tested regular for STIs, and being monogamous are ways to help prevent pelvic infections. "Your biggest risk factors for a pelvic infection are from chlamydia, gonorrhea, and other vaginal infections," Dr. Ross says. She-ology. The Definitive Guide to Women's Intimate Health
Here are some symptoms to watch out for that may indicate a pelvic infection. Of course, if you are experiencing any of the below, it is best to see your doctor to determine what is going on.
Pelvic And Lower Abdominal Pain
Dr. Ross says that if you're getting fevers for no reason, they could be a symptom of a pelvic infection.
Chances are, you know when to expect your period, even if it's usually off by a few days. But
abnormal bleeding is usually a sign of an underlying issue, and it may be from a pelvic infection.
If you think it's normal for sex to hurt — all of the time — think again.
Painful sexual intercourse is another cause for concern as far as your pelvis is concerned.
Along the same lines of
pain with sex, bleeding with sex is also not a good sign and can indicate that something's going on with your body.
If you have pain when urinating and don't have a UTI, it could be a sign that you have a pelvic infection.
Vaginal discharge is another sign to watch for. Dr. Ross differentiates between a yeast infection and a bacterial one
. "The main symptoms of a yeast infection include itching, thick white vaginal discharge, and a red and swollen vulva," Dr. Ross says. "Odor is not a common symptom. There may or may not be an obvious vaginal discharge, which can appear as thick or lumpy white and cottage cheese-like in consistency. Inflammation of the vagina and vulva can be obvious, but these symptoms can also be subtle, which makes the diagnosis confusing. A bacterial infection will have symptoms, including a green or gray foul-smelling vaginal discharge, and swelling and itching of the vagina may or may not be present."
As Dr. Ross says, "If you suffer from any of the above symptoms, you should visit your healthcare provider to know the best form of treatment." Although it may be a sign of a pelvic infection, it may also not be — it's best to be checked out to be sure.