Endometritis is an inflammation or irritation of the lining of the uterus (the endometrium). It is not the same as endometriosis .
Endometritis is caused by an infection in the uterus. It can be due to chlamydia, gonorrhea, tuberculosis, or a mix of normal vaginal bacteria. It is more likely to occur after miscarriage or childbirth. It is also more common after a long labor or C-section.
The risk of endometritis is higher after having a pelvic procedure that is done through the cervix. Such procedures include:
D and C
- Endometrial biopsy
- Placement of an intrauterine device (IUD)
Endometritis can occur at the same time as other pelvic infections.
- Swelling of the abdomen
Abnormal vaginal bleeding or discharge
- Discomfort with bowel movement (including constipation)
- General discomfort, uneasiness, or ill feeling
- Pain in lower abdomen or pelvic region (uterine pain)
Exams and Tests:
The health care provider will perform a physical exam with a pelvic exam. Your uterus and cervix may be tender and the provider may not hear bowel sounds . You may have cervical discharge.
The following tests may be performed:
You will need to take antibiotics to treat the infection and prevent complications. Finish all your medicine if you have been given antibiotics after a pelvic procedure. Also, go to all follow-up visits with your health care provider.
You may need to be treated in the hospital if your symptoms are severe or occur after childbirth.
Other treatments may involve:
- Fluids through a vein (by IV)
Sexual partners may need to be treated if the condition is caused by a sexually transmitted infection.
In most cases, the condition goes go away with antibiotics. Untreated endometritis can lead to more serious infection and complications.
When to Contact a Medical Professional:
Call your health care provider if you have symptoms of endometritis.
Call right away if symptoms occur after:
- IUD placement
- Surgery involving the uterus
Endometritis caused by sexually transmitted infections can be prevented by:
- Treating sexually transmitted infections early
- Making sure sexual partners are treated in the case of a sexually transmitted infection
- Following safer sex practices, such as using condoms
Women having a C-section may have antibiotics before the procedure to prevent infections.
Duff P. Maternal and perinatal infection -- bacterial. In: Gabbe SG, Niebyl JR, Simpson JL, et al, eds. Obstetrics: Normal and Problem Pregnancies. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders Elsevier; 2012:chap 51.
Eckert LO, Lentz GM. Infections of the lower and upper genital tract. In: Lentz GM, Lobo RA, Gershenson DM, Katz VL, eds. Comprehensive Gynecology. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Mosby Elsevier; 2012:chap 23.
Smaill FM, Gyte GM. Antibiotic prophylaxis versus no prophylaxis for preventing infection after cesarean section. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2010 Jan 20;(1):CD007482.
|Review Date: 8/5/2013|
Reviewed By: Susan Storck, MD, FACOG, Chief, Eastside Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Group Health Cooperative of Puget Sound, Bellevue, Washington; Clinical Teaching Faculty, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Bethanne Black, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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