The endometrium is the inner lining of the uterus. Postpartum endometritis is an infection of the endometrium after childbirth.
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Postpartum endometritis is caused by bacteria. The bacteria may be present in the mother before childbirth or be introduced to the body during childbirth.
Factors that may increase the risk of postpartum endometritis include:
Risk factors in the mother that may increase the risk of postpartum endometritis include:
Symptoms may include:
You will be asked about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. The diagnosis is often done based on symptoms and recent childbirth.
Bodily fluids may be tested to confirm the diagnosis or identify specific bacteria causing the infection. Tests may include:
Postpartum endometritis is treated with antibiotics. The antibiotics are usually given by IV.
Taking antibiotics before a cesarean section may help prevent postpartum endometritis.
Proper prenatal care throughout the entire pregnancy may also help reduce the risk.
American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians
The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada
Endometritis (postpartum). EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at:http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T113859/Endometritis-postpartum. Updated September 27, 2016. Accessed September 12, 2017.
Postpartum endometritis. Patient UK website. Available at: http://patient.info/doctor/postpartum-endometritis. Updated February 24, 2017. Accessed September 12, 2017.
Puerperal endometritis. Merck Manual Professional Edition website. Available at: http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/gynecology-and-obstetrics/postpartum-care-and-associated-disorders/puerperal-endometritis. Updated March 2013. Accessed June 5, 2015.
Last reviewed September 2018 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Beverly Siegal, MD, FACOG Last Updated: 10/3/2016