When you give birth to a child, it is overwhelming. Not only your body feels exhausted but your mind too. After giving birth to a newborn, it is normal to look after them. You invest all your energy in their well-being. During the whole process, often mothers do not look after themselves, and they think that they have delivered the child and are healthy now. However, you must know that complications can still happen after childbirth.
A common complication after delivery is postpartum endometritis. If you have any symptoms of infection after delivery, please do not take it lightly. Visit the healthcare provider soon. Infections, if left untreated, can become life-threatening for you. Therefore you should not delay the consultation. To get an expert opinion, you can visit a gynecologist.
What Is Postpartum Endometritis?
After giving birth to the baby, you might develop an infection known as postpartum endometritis. Often it occurs due to bacteria. They can be there in your body before childbirth or can enter your body during delivery. Bacteria that cause postpartum endometritis can enter your body through the gastrointestinal tract or your vagina.
In most cases, postpartum endometritis takes around 10 days to show up. However, in some cases, it might take up to 6 weeks to develop fully. To treat the condition, your healthcare providers would prescribe antibiotics to you. You might have to take them intravenously if the infection is severe.
What Are The Symptoms Of Postpartum Endometritis?
The most common symptom of postpartum endometritis is fever. It occurs after 72 hours of delivery. The other common symptoms it causes are:
- Soreness and tenderness in the abdomen
- Swelling of the belly or abdomen
- Chills and sweats
- Painful sex or dyspareunia
- Painful urination
- Abnormal vaginal discharge or foul odor
- Fatigue and lethargy
- A general feeling of being unwell
If you have any of these symptoms accompanied by fever after delivery, it can indicate postpartum endometritis. Therefore you should not take it lightly. Consult with the doctor as soon as possible.
Who Gets Postpartum Endometritis?
Postpartum endometritis can occur in any woman who has given birth to a baby recently. Any woman can get it. However, the rate of it is 5 to 10% higher in women who undergo a cesarean section.
The risk of developing infection through vaginal delivery is less, compared to cesarean section. Apart from that, other factors that can lead to postpartum endometritis are:
- Prolonged labor time
- Rupture of the fetal membrane for a long time
- A lot of internal examinations during labor
- Infections during pregnancy
- Incomplete removal of placenta
- Removal of the placenta by hand
- Postpartum hemorrhage- a condition in which you bleed heavily after delivery
- Bacterial vaginosis
- If a newborn passes stool inside the amniotic fluid
How Can You Know About Postpartum Endometritis?
In most cases, healthcare providers know about postpartum endometritis when you are in the hospital. Fever is the most common symptom of it. Therefore if you have a fever, your healthcare providers will further investigate to know about your health. They will perform vaginal swabs, urine tests, or blood tests to confirm it.
How Is Postpartum Endometritis Treated?
To treat postpartum endometritis, your healthcare providers will prescribe antibiotics. Antibiotics help kill them and eliminate the infection. In most cases, your healthcare provider would prescribe intravenous antibiotics. The most commonly used antibiotics for treating postpartum endometritis are clindamycin, ampicillin, and gentamicin. Your healthcare provider may prescribe any one of them or their combination.
If caught and treated early, postpartum endometritis does not cause any symptoms. However, if the treatment is delayed, it can lead to sepsis- a life-threatening condition. Therefore you should not take it lightly.
The Bottom Line
You might think that after delivering the baby, you will be fine. In most cases, you will be fine. But sometimes, you might develop an infection that needs to be treated urgently. You should take care of yourself in the postpartum days and take any symptoms you have seriously.
If you have any symptoms of postpartum endometritis, you must consult a healthcare provider soon. To get an expert opinion, you can visit a gynecologist in Islamabad.