Postpartum Endometritis



It is caused by bacteria that may be in the mother before childbirth. Bacteria could also enter the body during childbirth.

Risk Factors

Things that may increase the risk for the pregnant person include:

  • Conditions such as diabetes or anemia
  • Immune system problems
  • Vaginal infection
  • Smoking
  • Lack of prenatal care
  • Things during delivery that could raise the risk of it include:

    • Cesarean section delivery
    • Postpartum hemorrhage
    • Being in labor for a long time
    • Membranes that are broken for a long time during labor
    • Devices put in the uterus before, during, or after birth
    • Newborn stool in amniotic fluid (meconium)
    • Placenta pieces stay in the mother after birth or get taken out by hand
    • Bacterial infection of the membranes and amniotic fluid (chorioamnionitis)



    Symptoms may start 2 days to 6 weeks after giving birth. They include:

    • Fever and chills
    • Feeling bad or unwell
    • Belly pain and tenderness
    • Foul smell or blood coming from the vagina
    • Pain when passing urine


    The doctor will ask about symptoms and past health. A physical exam will be done. The diagnosis is often based on symptoms and recent childbirth. Tests to look for the kind of bacteria causing the problem include:

    • Urine tests and cultures
    • Blood tests



    The goal of treatment is to get rid of the infection. This is done with antibiotics.


    Not all infections can be prevented. Medical care while pregnant may help lower the chance of some infections. Medicine may be given before a cesarean section to reduce the risk.

    This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.

    Edits to original content made by Denver Health.