What is the definition of Endometritis?

Endometritis is an inflammation or irritation of the lining of the uterus (the endometrium). It is not the same as endometriosis.

What are the causes for Endometritis?

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 for endometritis is higher after having a pelvic procedure that is done through the cervix. Such procedures include:

  • D and C (dilation and curettage)
  • Endometrial biopsy
  • Hysteroscopy
  • Placement of an intrauterine device (IUD)
  • Childbirth (more common after C-section than vaginal birth)

Endometritis can occur at the same time as other pelvic infections.

What are the symptoms for Endometritis?

Symptoms may include:

  • Swelling of the abdomen
  • Abnormal vaginal bleeding or discharge
  • Discomfort with bowel movement (including constipation)
  • Fever
  • General discomfort, uneasiness, or ill feeling
  • Pain in lower abdomen or pelvic region (uterine pain)

What are the current treatments for Endometritis?

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 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)
  • Rest

Sexual partners may need to be treated if the condition is caused by a sexually transmitted infection (STI).

What is the outlook (prognosis) for Endometritis?

In most cases, the condition goes away with antibiotics. Untreated endometritis can lead to more serious infections and complications. Rarely, it may be associated with a diagnosis of endometrial cancer.

What are the possible complications for Endometritis?

Complications may include:

  • Infertility
  • Pelvic peritonitis (generalized pelvic infection)
  • Pelvic or uterine abscess formation
  • Septicemia
  • Septic shock

When should I contact a medical professional for Endometritis?

Call your provider if you have symptoms of endometritis.

Call right away if symptoms occur after:

  • Childbirth
  • Miscarriage
  • Abortion
  • IUD placement
  • Surgery involving the uterus

How do I prevent Endometritis?

Endometritis may be caused by STIs. To help prevent endometritis from STIs:

  • Treat STIs early.
  • Make sure sexual partners are treated in the case of a STI.
  • Follow safer sex practices, such as using condoms.

Women having a C-section may have antibiotics before the procedure to prevent infections.

Pelvic
Endometritis

REFERENCES

Duff P, Birsner M. Maternal and perinatal infection in pregnancy: bacterial. In: Gabbe SG, Niebyl JR, Simpson JL, et al, eds. Obstetrics: Normal and Problem Pregnancies. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2017:chap 54.

Gardella C, Eckert LO, Lentz GM. Genital tract infections: vulva, vagina, cervix, toxic shock syndrome, endometritis, and salpingitis. In: Lobo RA, Gershenson DM, Lentz GM, Valea FA, eds. Comprehensive Gynecology. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2017:chap 23.

Smaill FM, Grivell RM. Antibiotic prophylaxis versus no prophylaxis for preventing infection after cesarean section. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2014;(10):CD007482. PMID: 25350672 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25350672.

Workowski KA, Bolan GA; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Sexually transmitted diseases treatment guidelines, 2015. MMWR Recomm Rep. 2015;64(RR-03):1-137. PMID: 26042815 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26042815.

Clinical Trial
  • Status: Not yet recruiting
  • Phase: N/A
  • Intervention Type: Procedure, Device
  • Participants: 226
  • Start Date: July 2021
Barbed Suture: A Look at Its Use for Hysterotomy Closure During Cesarean Section
Clinical Trial
  • Status: Recruiting
  • Phase: Phase 4
  • Intervention Type: Drug
  • Participants: 482
  • Start Date: April 26, 2021
A Randomized Controlled Trial of Treatment of Bacterial Vaginosis in Late Third Trimester to Prevent Maternal Peripartum Infection