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What is endometritis?

Anthony L. Komaroff, MD
Internal Medicine
Endometritis is a condition characterized by inflammation of the tissue that lines the uterine cavity. This tissue is called the endometrium.

The condition is classified as acute or chronic.

Acute endometritis is often caused by a bacterial infection. It may be part of a general pelvic infection, such as pelvic inflammatory disease.

Some cases of chronic endometritis are due to infection, but the bacteria involved tend to be different from those that cause acute infection. Examples include chlamydia and, much less often, tuberculosis. Other cases are due to inflammation that results when there is a foreign body in the uterine cavity. An example would be an intrauterine device. This form of birth control causes an inflammatory reaction in the uterus. This action probably contributes to its effectiveness as a contraceptive.

Uterine growths such as polyps and fibroids that arise in the endometrium can also cause chronic endometritis.

Chronic endometritis may cause no symptoms or result in irregular uterine bleeding. Pelvic pain may occur, but pain and fever are usually more typical of acute endometritis.

Treatment of chronic endometritis depends on the cause. If there is no identified cause or if the doctor suspects infection, then antibiotics are given. If a growth or foreign body is present, removing it will usually make the symptoms go away.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.