Endometritis: What Is It, Symptoms, Causes & Treatment

Dr. Sheila Sedicias
About the author: Dr. Sheila Sedicias
June 2021

Endometritis is the inflammation of the uterine tissues that can be caused during infections by microorganisms such as candida, chlamydia or gonorrhea, for example, but also by allergies to products, a pH change due to lack of or excess hygiene and injuries in the region.

It causes symptoms such as vaginal discharge, bleeding other than during a period, colic type pain and a feeling that the uterus is swollen. However, sometimes you may not show symptoms and so your diagnosis is not made early, leading to a progression of the disease. Inflammation can occur either in the cervix, located at the lower end of the vagina, or in the inner lining, the endometrium, resulting in endometritis, as the images show:

The diagnosis is made by a gynecologist through a pap smear or an examination called colposcopy, where the signs of inflammation are observed and material can be collected for analysis. The treatment is usually done with pills or ointments, which may be antibiotics or anti-inflammatory drugs, for example.

What are the symptoms

The main symptoms of endometritis may include:

  • Bad-smelling yellowish, brown or gray discharge;
  • Bleeding during or after intimate contact;
  • Bleeding other than during the menstrual period;
  • Pain when urinating and during intimate contact;
  • Constant pain in the lower part of the belly;
  • Feeling of swelling in the lower part of the belly or in the uterus.

However, it is important to remember that these symptoms may also be present in other uterine conditions, such as myoma or uterine polyps, for example.

In addition, pain while urinating and abdominal pain may also be signs of ovarian inflammation.

Causes for uterus inflammation

Some causes that can cause uterine inflammation and endometristis are:

  • Sexually transmitted diseases, such as gonorrhea, chlamydia, or HPV;
  • Infectious vaginitis, such as candidiasis or bacterial vaginosis, for example;
  • Allergy to condoms, diaphragms or chemicals such as spermicides;
  • Lack of hygiene or excessive hygiene in the intimate region, especially the overuse of soap, as this changes the vaginal pH and favors the growth of microorganisms that cause diseases;
  • Injuries that occur during labor.

It is important to identify the correct cause of endometritis so that proper treatment can be done to avoid the recurrence of the problem.

Uterine inflammation and pregnancy

Inflammation in the uterus makes it difficult for a woman to become pregnant by preventing the embryo from implanting itself in the wall of the uterus and developing. However, when it occurs during pregnancy, it usually does not interfere with the development of the fetus if treated properly, but when left untreated it can lead to complications such as miscarriage.

What treatment options are available

The treatment for endometritis depends greatly on the cause of the problem. When the inflammation is due to the presence of foreign microorganisms, it may can treated with a course of antibiotics, antiviral or antifungal medication such as Nystatin, Miconazole, Clindamycin or Metronidazole, which should be used under the guidance of a gynecologist. In some cases, sexual partners also need to be treated, to ensure that the microorganisms are eliminated and thereby prevent the inflammation from returning.

The gynecologist may also indicate cauterization of the cervix to help heal any lesions. However, if the inflammation in the uterus is caused by an allergy to materials that come into contact with the woman's internal region, such as a condom or a diaphragm, the use of these products should be discontinued and, if necessary, anti-inflammatory drugs taken to alleviate pain and help the uterus to recover.

If uterine inflammation is not treated, it can reach more internal regions, such as the endometrium, fallopian tubes, and ovaries. In these cases, you may need to be treated at hospital, with medication given directly into the vein to contain the inflammation more quickly.

Home remedies

To complement the treatment of endometritis, the avoidance of intimate contact is advised, as well as drinking about 2 liters of liquids a day. A healthy diet, rich in omega 3, present in salmon and sardines, as well as fruits, vegetables and greens will help heal the inflammation.

Can endometritis become cancer?

If the inflammation in the uterus is being caused by some types of the HPV virus, and it is not properly treated, the inflammation can develop into cervical cancer. Therefore, whenever there are signs and symptoms that indicate an inflammation, it is important to seek a gynecologist’s help to identify the correct cause and start treatment as soon as possible.

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About the author:
Dr. Sheila Sedicias
Physician graduated in Mastology and Gynecology by UFPE in 2008 and member no. 17459 of CRM-PE, Brazil.