Endometritis is the inflammation of the uterine lining which can happen after childbirth, it is in fact the most common postpartum infection 5-6% of vaginal deliveries. You may be thinking is this the same condition as endometriosis but no they are two different conditions that can affect the endometrium (tissue layer in the uterus).
The causes of endometritis can be related to childbirth or unrelated due to STI’s or bacterial vaginosis. When endometritis is unrelated to childbirth it is classified as pelvic inflammatory disease.
Risk factors for Endometritis:
- Prolonged labour
- Instruments are used during birth.
- Caesarean delivery: increases risk 5-20%
- Maternal infections; HIV, diabetes, bacterial vaginosis
Symptoms of Endometritis
- Uterine tenderness
- Lower abdominal pain
- Foul smelling discharge after birth
If you are experiencing any of the above it is recommended to seek GP advice for further testing such as a urinalysis and to rule out UTI’s or blood clots.
Following a GP appointment if you have confirmed postpartum endometritis your GP will prescribe antibiotics that should take effect within 1-3 days.
During your 6-week postpartum assessment with your physiotherapist, you can bring up any concerns you may have, and they can refer you onwards for more help. It is always important to treat infections early to prevent more serious conditions such as sepsis.