What Is Endometritis?

Endometritis is an inflammation of the endometrial lining of the uterus. It is usually caused by bacterial infections. Endometritis occurs most often in women after they have given birth, though it can also appear in women before they become pregnant.

Women with endometritis may experience pain in the lower abdomen, fever, and abnormal vaginal discharge. Other symptoms include tenderness, vaginal bleeding, and pain during intercourse. Endometritis can also cause infertility in women.

Causes of Endometritis

The most common cause of endometritis is a bacterial infection. Usually, an infection develops in the reproductive organs of the woman shortly after childbirth, or during the delivery process.

Other causes of endometritis can include:

  • Use of an intrauterine device (IUD)
  • Any procedure that involves inserting instruments into the uterus, such as abortion, biopsy, dilation, and curettage (D&C)
  • Pelvic surgery
  • Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)
  • Uterine infection

Diagnosis and Treatment of Endometritis

Endometritis can be diagnosed with a pelvic exam and lab tests to identify the type of bacteria that is causing the infection. Your doctor may also use an ultrasound to get a better picture of the uterus.

Treatment for endometritis usually involves antibiotics to fight the infection. In some cases, your doctor may recommend surgery to remove the infection.

Prevention of Endometritis

To help prevent endometritis, it's important to follow a few basic steps, such as:

  • Maintain good hygiene
  • Practice safe sex
  • Avoid douching
  • Seek prompt treatment for any sexually transmitted diseases
  • Consult your doctor before getting an IUD or undergoing any gynecological procedures