Endometritis is inflammation of the lining of your uterus (endometrium) caused by infection. Your healthcare provider can treat it with antibiotics.
Endometritis is inflammation of the endometrium (the inner lining of your uterus) due to infection. It can be acute (starts suddenly and is short-term) or chronic (lasts a long time or occurs repeatedly). Acute endometritis can happen after childbirth or miscarriage, or after a surgical procedure involving your cervix or uterus. Chronic endometritis is more common after menopause or if you have an infection like chlamydia or gonorrhea.
Endometritis isn’t a life-threatening condition, but it can cause complications without prompt treatment (with antibiotics).
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Anyone with a uterus can get endometritis. Endometritis is one of the most common infections after you give birth. It could start as chorioamnionitis in labor and progress to endometritis after you give birth, or begin after childbirth (postpartum). It’s slightly more common if you have a C-section. Endometritis is common in people with pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). Many different bacteria cause PID, but infection from unprotected sex is most common.
Symptoms of endometritis include:
Endometritis is caused by a bacterial infection in your uterus. It can be due to sexually transmitted infections (STIs), tuberculosis or from bacteria that occur naturally in your vagina. Having bacteria in your vagina is normal, but this can sometimes change after you give birth or have a procedure involving your vagina. This “mixing” of bacteria can cause infection, which leads to inflammation.
Your healthcare provider performs a pelvic exam to diagnose endometritis. They may also recommend the following tests to help confirm the diagnosis:
The lining of your uterus may appear thicker or irregular on ultrasound, but this alone doesn’t mean you have endometritis. Many conditions can cause an abnormal appearance of your uterine lining.
Your provider will treat you with antibiotics if you have endometritis. If you’ve just given birth or have a serious infection, treatment may involve intravenous (IV) fluids and bed rest.
Untreated endometritis can lead to more serious infections and complications. Some complications include:
In most cases, you’ll feel better after you finish your antibiotics. The infection and inflammation usually goes away after treatment.
You may be at higher risk for endometritis if you recently gave birth or had a procedure involving your cervix. Some examples of procedures are:
Some people get endometritis from douching or inserting other objects into their vagina.
Since untreated STIs often cause endometritis, the best prevention is to:
People having a C-section should have antibiotics before the procedure to prevent infection.
Call your healthcare provider if you have symptoms of endometritis, especially if you’ve recently had any of the following procedures or life events:
Endometritis and endometriosis are two different conditions. Both conditions affect the inner lining of your uterus (endometrium). Endometriosis is when pieces of your uterine lining develop in places other than the uterus, like your ovaries or fallopian tubes. Endometritis is inflammation of the lining of the uterus.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Endometritis is a condition that causes inflammation to the lining of your uterus. It’s caused by bacterial infections after surgical procedures, childbirth or from sexually transmitted infections. Getting endometritis after a surgical procedure is typically beyond your control. However, you can reduce your risk for getting endometritis by using condoms during sex. Let your healthcare provider know if you have irregular bleeding or discharge, fever or pelvic pain. They can diagnose endometritis and prescribe antibiotics.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 10/25/2022.
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