Tubo-ovarian abscess caused by Anaerobic Bacterial Infection

Tubo-Ovarian Abscess Caused by Anaerobic Bacterial Infection

Tubo-ovarian abscess is identified as a serious form of pelvic infection caused by anaerobic bacterial infection. In this condition, the Fallopian tubes and ovaries swell and form pus-filled abscesses. It usually affects women of reproductive age. It is a rare but a dangerous condition if not treated on time.

Anaerobic bacteria are usually a part of the normal vaginal flora. But when this normal balance is disrupted, for example, due to a sexually transmitted infection or poor hygiene, the bacteria tend to multiply abnormally and thus, leads to a bacterial infection.

Symptoms of Tubo-ovarian Abscess

  • Pain in lower abdomen or pelvic pain
  • Pain during intercourse
  • Painful urination
  • High fever
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Rapid heartbeat (tachycardia)
  • Abnormal vaginal discharge that may smell foul
  • Pain while passing stools
  • Enlarged and tender abdomen


Following tests may be conducted to confirm the diagnosis:

  • Pelvic examination
  • Transvaginal ultrasound
  • Computed Tomography (CT) Scan
  • Laparoscopy
  • Blood counts and cultures

Treatment for Tubo-Ovarian Abscess

The most preferred treatment for TOA is antibiotics and surgery. The antibiotics prescribed are usually broad-spectrum antibiotics to treat infections caused by both gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria. Surgery is usually done to drain the pus-filled abscesses formed, and in most cases, the infected ovary may need to be removed. In severe cases, hysterectomy may need to be done.


Tubo-ovarian abscess is a serious infection of the Fallopian tubes and ovaries caused by anaerobic bacteria. If not treated on time, it can have serious health consequences. It is, therefore, important to get yourself tested for TOA at the first sign of infection and receive appropriate treatment.