Written by Dr.M.D.Mazumdar, MD
Postpartum infection or puerperal infection is infection of the genital tract within 6 weeks after child-birth or abortion.
This is commonly seen in cases of prolonged labour, after repeated vaginal examinations in unsterile conditions, intrauterine manipulations as in manual removal of placenta after retained placenta, rupture of membranes not adequately covered by antibiotics, and sometimes in cesarian sections.
This is the commonest cause of postpartum infection.
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Blood examination will show a rise in the number of WBCs (white blood cells) and in the ESR level indicating an infection.
Ultrasonography: In mild infections, there may not be any abnormality in the USG. But if the infection affects the tissues around the uterus resulting in a deep pelvic infecion, USG may reveal a mass with ill-defined margins.
Local treatment of Postpartum Infections:If perineal wounds like episiotomies are infected, the stitches should be removed to drain out the pus.
If the infection is due to retained tissues in the uterus, they should be removed as gently as possible.
However, if the uterus is deemed to be too friable and there is a possibility of rupture during removal, it is better not to manipulate it any further. Removal can be done after 2 or 3 days of starting antibiotics.
Clean vaginal pads must be used and changed frequently.
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