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What Are the Symptoms of a Uterus Infection?

A fever is a common symptom of uterus infection.
If a uterus is sensitive to the touch, it may be infected.
The uterus is part of the female reproductive system.
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  • Written By: K.C. Bruning
  • Edited By: John Allen
  • Last Modified Date: 16 August 2014
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Many of the symptoms of a uterus infection are the same as with most infections. They include fever, sweating, and shivering. Other symptoms include vaginal bleeding with foul-smelling discharge or pus, pain in the abdomen, an uncharacteristically fast pulse, and a uterus that is sensitive to touch. This kind of infection can be caused by bacteria that the woman is already carrying, but is usually the result of a hospital procedure such as a caesarean section or other birth-related issues. It can also be caused by sexually-transmitted diseases.

There are several other conditions that can indicate the presence of a uterus infection. Cessation of menstruation or light, sporadic flow can indicate the condition. If a woman has had multiple miscarriages or difficulty conceiving, an infection could be the cause.

A uterine infection can also be detected by the development of conditions such as Asherman’s syndrome, endometritis, and pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). Asherman’s syndrome is caused by scar tissue that grows in the uterus after surgery, such as with a caesarean section. Endometritis is irritation and inflammation of endometrium, which is also know as the uterine lining, caused by infection. Pelvic inflammatory disease is an infection that travels to the uterus via the vagina and fallopian tubes. It is usually the result of venereal diseases such as gonorrhea and chlamydia.

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Most uterine infections are caused by foreign matter in the uterus. This is often the result of pieces of placenta remaining in the area after childbirth. It can also be caused by irritation in the uterus due to medical procedures.

There are two primary kinds of uterus infection, early onset and late onset. If a woman has developed an infection due to a hospital stay, it will usually present itself within a few days. In rare cases, the matter in the uterus may take longer to break down and the infection will take several weeks to develop.

It is important to treat a uterus infection quickly, before it spreads to the fallopian tubes and bloodstream. If the infection travels to the blood, a potentially fatal condition known as sepsis can develop. Typically, antibiotics are prescribed to kill the bacteria that result from the infection. If the woman is still in the hospital, she may be given stronger drugs in order to aggressively fight the infection before she is released. Severe infections that develop after release usually require re-hospitalization.

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Discuss this Article

anon947657
Post 16

@anon947647: I have to wonder if cloudel meant "ureters" rather than "uterus." That would be logical for a kidney infection.

And whether a UTI can spread to the uterus itself or not, one that gets out of control can sure enough make a person septic, and that can cause damage to major organs.

anon947647
Post 15

I think cloudel should learn some basic anatomy and that seag47 should be getting answers from a health care professional rather than posting to a blog. And as a healthcare professional (CNM) - no, a UTI cannot turn into a uterine infection.

But wow, cloudel, wow.

anon357781
Post 13

I recently had my third child via cesarean at a specialist hospital for women. It was my second cesarean, after my first the recovery was relatively pain free and I was up and running after just three days. However, this time around after a couple of days, I was in excruciating pain in my whole abdomen. I had sharp stabbing pains and aches over my entire body and felt as if I had the flu, plus I had a fever and had pain once I could finally empty my bowels.

I thought all of this may have been normal as it was my second cesarean and the nurses reassured me that having a raised temp along with all the aches and pains was common with subsequent cesareans. I was aching and in pain for the whole time I spent in the hospital after my son’s birth. They just doped me up on the strongest painkillers I could have during breastfeeding.

I was then discharged after four days in the hospital and went home feeling very unwell still, and in pain with a lot of bleeding and swelling of my abdominal area and constant night sweats, headaches and entire body aches.

After about a week at home, I thought this isn't right it shouldn't be feeling this crappy!

So after a routine check up, I was told to go into the hospital emergency room just to get checked out as I mentioned the aches and pains.

After uncomfortably waiting for two or three hours in the ER waiting room with my newborn baby, they called me in. The doctor did an internal exam, blood tests and checked my stomach and breasts as she thought it may have been mastitis, but I've had mastitis twice before and this felt very different.

The doctor then came back and diagnosed it as endometritis (an infection of the uterine lining) caused by the surgery when they opened me up.

I was sent home with two types of antibiotics, which I took for two weeks. I was still in a lot of pain around my uterus and still had hot sweats at night and bleeding and abnormal discharge. Again, I thought it was part of the recovery. I finished my two weeks’ worth of antibiotics and felt ok, just run down and achy.

A week and a bit later I woke up with a fever and again had excruciating abdominal pain. A couple of my friends suggested I go to the doctor, so I listened to them and my body as I felt exactly how I did while I had the infection. Again I was put on oral antibiotics, but my friend suggested I get an ultrasound and go to the ER. She had been through the same sort of thing and ended up needing a D&C as there was retained product.

I went to the ER and they admitted me to the ward and put me on IV antibiotics for four and a half days because the infection had come back. I had an ultrasound which showed fluid in my uterus.

After speaking with the doctor, he said if I had left it a week, my uterus would have rotted away or I would have had sepsis and possibly died from it.

I would urge all women to get a second maybe third opinion and listen to your body. Never ignore these symptoms!

anon351369
Post 12

I'm just back from two days in hospital on IV antibiotics due to a uterus infection caused by a hysterescopy, biopsy and polyp removal just over a week ago. "Hospital" does not necessarily mean sterile and clean.

ezrasmom2011
Post 11

I've had four stomach surgeries, and I am about to have my fifth one. They said I have endometreosis. Well, they decided to put in mesh to slow down the scar tissue in 2011 after I had my son. It has only gotten worse for me with my pains in my stomach. I have one ovary now.

What really started my pains is I got a 4 cm cyst that popped finally, and then my pains started. I called my ob/gyn and now they think I have an infection in my uterus, ovary and fallopian tube. I'm so lost and sick of the pains. They have the order sent over for surgery. Ugh. Help? --Kirsten

anon330830
Post 10

I'm not sure how old this post is, but @anon319827: I had a uterus infection after my daughter was born due to a complicated delivery. I was readmitted to the hospital for five days and treated with IV triple antibiotics known as amp/gent/clinda.

anon319827
Post 9

What is the antibiotic one would take after an operation on the uterus?

JessicaLynn
Post 8

@JaneAir - That is scary. It's also disturbing that there are so many ways you can get a uterus infection. An STD, foreign matter in the uterus from childbirth, and even from getting a C-section. As if having a baby didn't sound scary enough, you also have to worry about developing a severe infection.

JaneAir
Post 7

Uterus infections sound really scary, because it sounds like they can spread to the bloodstream pretty quickly and cause sepsis. As the article said, sepsis is very serious and can kill you.

When I took health in college, we briefly touched on sepsis, and my professor mentioned that's what killed his father. His father had an infection in his lungs, and it spread to the rest of his body, causing sepsis and killing him. I think it can happen with any kind of internal infection.

KaBoom
Post 6

Uterine infections definitely can be caused by foreign matter in the uterus. I think you can also develop one after having a miscarriage if all the matter isn't removed from the uterus. That's why they usually have women schedule a D&C after having a miscarriage.

SZapper
Post 5

@Perdido - Hospitals are supposed to be sterile environments, but they're also full of sick people and really strong germs. I'm pretty sure MRSA (a really serious kind of staph infection) started in hospitals and then spread to the rest of the population.

Anyway, I don't think developing an infection after a Cesarean is all that common. Several of my friends had to have them, and they didn't develop any kind of infection. However, it's good to know that it's a possibility. If you start developing uterus infection symptoms after a C-section, you should definitely head to the doctor.

orangey03
Post 4

My mother-in-law had an infection in her uterus that turned into sepsis, and she nearly died. She had to spend a month in the hospital!

She had antibiotics being delivered intravenously for a long time. Her entire body was swelled, and for awhile, the doctor did not know if she would make it.

All this could have been prevented if she had gone to the doctor when she first started having all the symptoms of a uterus infection. People don't realize how serious this can be!

Perdido
Post 3

It's sad that you can get an infected uterus while in the hospital! That's supposed to be a safe, sterile place where you go for healing. I would be very upset if I went into the hospital to have a baby and left with a uterus infection!

cloudel
Post 2

@seag47 – Yes, it can. However, I believe you'd have to ignore your urinary tract infection symptoms awhile for this to happen.

I was experiencing bladder cramping and frequent urination a few months ago, and I just waited for it to go away. Instead, it turned into a kidney infection, and I had fever, lower back pain, and vomiting. That's when I went to my doctor.

He told me that it is critical to get urinary tract infections taken care of, because they can spread to the uterus as well as the kidneys, and they can even cause organ failure. I will never wait about going to the doctor for a UTI again!

seag47
Post 1

Can a urinary tract infection ever spread to the uterus? I know that if you don't get it treated, it can turn into a kidney infection, but I just wonder how far it can go.

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