Endometritis (en-doh-muh-TRY-tus) is inflammation or irritation of the lining of the uterus (endometrium).
The inside of a woman's uterus, or womb, is lined with a membrane called the endometrium. Endometritis occurs when the endometrium becomes inflamed or irritated. This usually happens as a result of an infection moving up into the uterus from the vagina and cervix.
Common causes of infection include normal vaginal bacteria and the sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) chlamydia and gonorrhea. Women are most at risk of developing endometritis following childbirth, a miscarriage, or an abortion. Medical procedures that involve entering the uterus through the cervix also can increase a woman's risk.
Endometritis can cause abdominal pain and swelling, lower back pain, abnormal vaginal bleeding, abnormal vaginal discharge, fever, pain while urinating or during sexual intercourse, and a general ill feeling.
Endometritis usually is treated with antibiotics to clear up the infection and prevent complications.
Usually, antibiotic treatment is enough to cure endometritis. If endometritis is left untreated, the infection may spread. This can lead to a more serious infection and complications such as sepsis (a potentially life-threatening blood infection) and infertility. Treatment should be started as soon as symptoms appear and a doctor diagnoses the condition.
All A to Z dictionary entries are regularly reviewed by KidsHealth medical experts.
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