Definition - What does Endometritis mean?

Endometritis is an infection or inflammation of the uterine lining (the endometrium). Endometritis is not to be confused with endometriosis, a disorder affecting the endometrium. Endometritis is triggered by an infection that develops in the uterus. While it can be treated with antibiotic medication, untreated endometritis can damage a woman's reproductive health and has the potential to cause infertility.

FertilitySmarts explains Endometritis

Symptoms of endometritis include:

  • Abdominal swelling
  • Abdominal pain
  • Abnormal vaginal discharge
  • Abnormal vaginal bleeding
  • Constipation
  • Painful bowel movements
  • Fever

To diagnose endometritis, a standard pelvic exam is typically performed. Additional testing may be conducted, including:

  • Cervical culture (swabbing and analysis of samples from the cervix)
  • Biopsy of the endometrium
  • Blood testing
  • Analysis of vaginal discharge

While the vagina and entire reproductive system of all women are filled with healthy bacteria, infiltration of some foreign, unrecognized strains may cause illnesses such as endometritis. Endometritis is typically caused by the unintended introduction of bacteria to the interior of the uterus. The most common causes of endometritis include:

  • Miscarriage
  • Vaginal childbirth, particularly following a long labor
  • Caesarian childbirth
  • Hysteroscopy
  • Dilation and curettage (D&C)
  • IUD placement

To treat endometritis, most women are prescribed a round of antibiotics to handle the problematic bacteria. For women with particularly severe symptoms, rest and fluids may be required. It is imperative that women diagnosed with endometritis follow medical direction. With prompt and complete antibiotic use the illness will rapidly heal. However, prolonged neglect of the condition can cause ongoing problems and severe bodily infection.

Failure to treat endometritis can lead to:

  • Infertility
  • Pelvic infections
  • Blood infections
  • Septic shock
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