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Parents seriously underestimate the emotional and medical impact the pelvic inflammatory disease has on teenagers, according to a study of Johns Hopkins Children's Center.

The pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), an inflammation of the reproductive organs resulting from STIs like chlamydia and gonorrhea, among others, affects more than 800,000 women in the United States each year, one in ten of whom develops infertility, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). “With sexually transmitted diseases, teen girls often seek confidential care, assume full responsibility for their treatment and behavior and are expected to manage their own disease so it is their perceptions that should matter the most,” says study lead investigator Maria Trent, M.D., M.P.H., a pediatrician and adolescent health specialist at Johns Hopkins Children's Center.

The research involved 134 girls, ages 12 through 19, and 121 parents who had raised or were currently raising teens. Only a handful of participants reported ever having PID, but a fifth of the teenagers and a quarter of the parents said they had been treated for a sexually transmitted infection (STI), which can lead to PID.


Researchers believe this is the first analysis of teenage perceptions about the medical and emotional burdens of PID and believe it offers valuable insights for health economists and health policy researchers who use such patient perceptions to calculate the medical and financial toll a disease takes on society and to allocate resources for prevention and treatment. They traditionally have used adult patient data to estimate the burden of PID on pediatric patients, but the gap between teen and parental perceptions revealed in the Hopkins study shows that the teen perspective may be gravely underappreciated, the investigators say.

The study shows that parents viewed PID and related complications as less burdensome than teens did and believed PID affected teens less than teens themselves said it did. Teens were also more willing than parents to give up time from their lives in exchange for a PID-free future.

Therefore, based on the research, parents should not blame their children at first when they know that their children are PID patients, but encourage their children to receive treatment and keep company with them during the treatment period. Parents can give some advice about what kind of medicines the teens should choose, antibiotics or other medicines like the Fuyan pill and inform them to take medicine on time and persistently. Besides, they should be with them and make their children know that they will get through this together

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