A recent study at the University of Washington in Seattle has new information for sufferers of endometritis. The study was designed to show that antibiotics may be an effective treatment for endometritis. Researchers based at the University of Washington in Seattle also confirmed other studies showing that a current pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) a risk factor; additionally, even past PIDs indicate an increased risk of endometritis. The results of this study were published in the February 2004 issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
Endometritis is an inflammation or irritation of the endometrium, the lining of the uterus. It is usually caused by infection after surgery or the insertion of medical instruments into the uterus. Some of these procedures include childbirth, abortion, or the insertion of an intrauterine device (IUD). Symptoms of endometritis include abnormal vaginal bleeding and discharge, fever, uterine pain, constipation, and general discomfort. It is generally treated with antibiotics. Untreated endometritis can lead to more serious infection and complications in reproductive and general health, including septic shock and infertility.
Researchers studied endometrial biopsies of 207 women at risk for endometritis. Evidence of the condition appeared in 37 (18%) of the tissue samples. The researchers studied endometritis patients whether or not the patient’s specific cause of the condition was known.
Of these 37 patients, 43% also had chlamydia and gonorrhea, two sexually transmitted diseases caused by the same bacteria as PID (inflammation in reproductive organs). Only 25% of the 170 patients without endometritis had chlamydia and gonorrhea. This finding is similar to other previous studies.
However, in addition to confirming previous findings, the researchers were also found that whether or not the patients had a current PID, endometritis was almost two times more common in women who had prior PID compared to those who had not had prior PID. This information had not been clear in past studies.
In the second part of this study, the researchers gave a seven-day antimicrobial treatment to 153 women with endometritis (but without current PID). They found that following the treatment, the women’s clinical symptoms were drastically reduced. Abnormal bleeding was reduced by half (60% vs. 29%). The number of those who suffered from uterine tenderness, cervicitis, and abnormal discharge was reduced by 70%. The occurrence of histologic endometritis was reduced by almost 90%, from 38% of the women to 4%.
However, since there was no control group of women who did not receive the antimicrobial treatment, the researchers can not say definitively that the medicine was the cause of the improvement. It is possible that the symptoms could have gone away without medicine, although untreated endometritis can also lead to more serious medical problems.