Postpartum endometritis is an infection of the lining in the uterus.
|Female Reproductive Organs|
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It is caused by bacteria that may be in the mother before childbirth. Bacteria could also enter the body during childbirth.
Things that may increase the risk for the pregnant person include:
Things during delivery that could raise the risk of it include:
- Cesarean section delivery
- Postpartum hemorrhage
- Being in labor for a long time
- Membranes that are broken for a long time during labor
- Devices put in the uterus before, during, or after birth
- Newborn stool in amniotic fluid (meconium)
- Placenta pieces stay in the mother after birth or get taken out by hand
- Bacterial infection of the membranes and amniotic fluid (chorioamnionitis)
Symptoms may start 2 days to 6 weeks after giving birth. They include:
- Fever and chills
- Feeling bad or unwell
- Belly pain and tenderness
- Foul smell or blood coming from the vagina
- Pain when passing urine
The doctor will ask about symptoms and past health. A physical exam will be done. The diagnosis is often based on symptoms and recent childbirth. Tests to look for the kind of bacteria causing the problem include:
- Urine tests and cultures
- Blood tests
Not all infections can be prevented. Medical care while pregnant may help lower the chance of some infections. Medicine may be given before a cesarean section to reduce the risk.
American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists http://www.acog.org
Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians http://www.familydoctor.org
Health Canada https://www.canada.ca
The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada http://sogc.org
Endometritis (postpartum). EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/condition/endometritis-postpartum . Accessed March 21, 2022.
Martingano, D., Singh, S., et al. Azithromycin in the treatment of preterm prelabor rupture of membranes demonstrates a lower risk of chorioamnionitis and postpartum endometritis with an equivalent latency period compared with erythromycin antibiotic regimens. Infect Dis Obstet Gynecol, 2020; 2093530.
Postpartum endometritis. Patient UK website. Available at: http://patient.info/doctor/postpartum-endometritis. Accessed March 21, 2022.
Taylor, M. and Pillarisetty, L.S. Endometritis. StatPearls, 2021. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK553124 . Accessed March 21, 2022.
- Reviewer: EBSCO Medical Review Board Mary-Beth Seymour, RN
- Update Date: 03/21/2022