This is a puerperal infection when bacteria infect the uterus and surrounding areas after a female gives birth. It is also referred to as a postpartum infection.
Postpartum infections are classified according to the three distinct areas where they can occur, which are as follows:
Endometritis affects the uterine lining.
Uterine muscle myometritis
Endometritis (also known as pelvic cellulitis) is the most common postpartum infection because the uterine lining can be traumatized and torn during birthing. This damage opens the door for infection to spread.
Infections in the uterus muscle or structures supporting the uterus can develop at the incision or tear sites, such as during an episiotomy or cesarean delivery (C-section).
The general symptoms of a postpartum infection are similar to those of a typical infection and include the following:
- achy body
- general discomfort due to loss of appetite
More severe symptoms of a postpartum infection include:
- Pain below the waist or in the pelvic bone area due to an inflamed uterus and pale, clammy skin due to excessive blood loss
Infection revealed by foul-smelling vaginal drainage
- increased heart rate as a result of blood loss
It may take several days for symptoms to appear. Infections can sometimes go undetected until you leave the hospital. Even after you have been discharged, it is critical to check for signs of infection.
A uterus that is still intact is considered sterile. Bacteria that live on the skin, such as Streptococcus or Staphylococcus, and other bacteria, on the other hand, can cause infections by invading damaged skin or tissue. These bacteria thrive in the lower abdomen’s moist and warm environment.
After the mother’s water breaks, postpartum infections can begin in the uterus. Furthermore, the uterus can become infected if the amniotic sac and its fluid become infected. The amniotic sac is the membrane that protects the fetus and fluids during pregnancy.
If you are still in the hospital, postpartum infections are primarily treated with intravenous antibiotics (IV). When the type of bacteria is unknown, broad-spectrum antibiotics are used to treat it.
If you develop infection symptoms after returning home, your doctor may admit you back to the hospital for treatment. Once your condition has been stabilized with IV antibiotics, your doctor will likely switch you to an oral antibiotic upon discharge.
Antibiotics taken orally may include:
- Augmentin (amoxicillin and clavulanate) (amoxicillin and clavulanate)
- Flagyl and Vibramycin (doxycycline) (metronidazole)
- Levaquin (levofloxacin) in combination with Flagyl (metronidazole)
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