What is puerperal fever?

postpartum Fever was a term used in the early 18th century to describe what we know today as postpartum infections. Postpartum infections are bacterial infections of the reproductive organs that occur up to 10 days after a pregnant woman gives birth.

Genital infections can occur in any vaginal birth, but are more common in birth trauma or a surgical procedure required to remove the baby from the womb during labor, called a cesarean section Delivery (caesarean section).

This article reviews the types, symptoms, causes, and treatment of puerperal fever.

Types of Postpartum Infections

Before surgery to assist dystocia infants, puerperal fever was primarily an infection of the pelvis caused by trauma to the infant passing through the birth canal. This is most likely endometrial disease (endometrial lining).

endometrial infection called endometritis. Postpartum people may develop several different reproductive organ infections, including some surgery-related infections. However, the most common remains endometritis.

Postpartum people can also develop:

  • Wound infection at the caesarean section
  • Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)
  • inflammation or infection of breast tissue, called mastitis
  • wound infection site episiotomy (a surgical incision is made in the perineum between the vagina and anus to widen the opening through which the baby passes)
  • Septic pelvic thrombophlebitisa rare infection that spreads from the pelvis to the rest of the body through veins

infection after caesarean section

Postpartum people undergoing cesarean delivery are at higher risk of developing puerperal fever or postpartum infection.

puerperal fever symptoms

A temperature of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher within 10 days of delivery may indicate puerperal fever or postpartum infection.

last 24 hours

Postpartum fever is not considered puerperal fever if it occurs within the first 24 hours after delivery. This is because people usually have a low-grade fever and no infection during this period. This fever will go away on its own.


People with endometritis develop a fever, along with lower abdominal pain, uterine tenderness, and a rapid heart rate. People often experience vaginal bleeding and a foul odor from the vagina.

Wound infection

A wound infection usually presents with redness, warmth, and pain at the incision site. These may occur at the site of a cesarean incision or episiotomy. Sometimes there is a white or yellow discharge from the incision.

Severe infections can spread deep into the abdominal cavity. Alternatively, the skin may turn black and blue and peel.

urinary tract infection

People who have a UTI often complain of pain and burning when urinating. Other symptoms may include lower abdominal pain and fever.

What causes puerperal fever?

There are several risks of developing an infection after giving birth. People who have a caesarean section have a higher risk of postpartum infection than those who have a vaginal birth.

Other risk factors include:

  • weakened immune system
  • History bacterial vaginosis (vaginal inflammation caused by an overgrowth of normal vaginal bacteria)
  • Current Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)
  • Group B tested positive Streptococcusa bacterium that is usually harmless to adults
  • Behaviors such as smoking and alcohol or substance use
  • pregnant age
  • high body mass index
  • history of diabetes
  • History of high blood pressure (hypertension)


Endometritis is an infection of the lining of the uterus. The endometrium, along with the fallopian tubes and ovaries, are part of the upper reproductive tract. During labor, bacteria normally found in the lower reproductive tract (vagina and cervix) can enter the upper reproductive tract and cause inflammation.

People who have had a cesarean section are 5 to 10 times more likely to develop endometritis. Other risk factors for this infection include:

  • Membrane rupture for more than 18 hours
  • Vaginal area tested positive for group B strep
  • chorioamnionitis (Infected placenta and amniotic fluid)
  • Extended caesarean section
  • Using internal monitoring probes during labor
  • multiple vaginal exams

chlamydia infection

If a postpartum person develops endometritis more than 7 days after giving birth, there is a higher chance of infection Chlamydia trachomatisSTDs.

Wound infection

Postoperative wound and episiotomy site infections are often caused by skin bacteria such as staphylococcus or Streptococcus.

However, since the use of sterile cleansers on the skin and the administration of antibiotics before surgery, the frequency of postoperative wound infections has dropped significantly.

Other risk factors for wound infections include:

  • history of diabetes
  • history of obesity
  • Regular use of corticosteroids (anti-inflammatory drugs)
  • smokes

urinary tract infection

People who have a cesarean section are at higher risk for urinary tract infections, most often because of the bladder catheterization during operation.

Catheterization is the procedure of inserting a tube into the urethra to collect urine from the bladder.The most common microorganisms that cause bladder infections are Escherichia coli or Escherichia coli.


Postpartum infections are most often diagnosed based on a health care provider’s examination and the patient’s risk factors in a particular situation.

If a person has a persistent fever while taking antibiotics for a postpartum infection or suspects the disease has spread throughout the body, the provider will do laboratory tests and other imaging tests to look for the source of the infection.They may also do these tests and studies to make sure that different things don’t cause a fever


Different types of bacteria can cause postpartum infections. Antibiotics treat all kinds of diseases. The choice of antibiotic depends on the site of infection and the bacteria most likely to cause the infection.

Healthcare providers also use pain relievers to treat fevers, such as Acetaminophen and ibuprofen. In the hospital, they will often give people IV fluids. Postpartum people also need rest.

preventive treatment

People undergoing caesarean section should proactively be given a dose of antibiotics prior to surgery to prevent postoperative wound infection and endometritis.


The initial antibiotic of choice for endometritis is Clindamycin add Gentamicin. People with endometritis often need to be hospitalized to receive intravenous antibiotics.

Wound infection

Wound infections are also treated with antibiotics. The choice of antibiotic depends on the bacteria and antibiotic resistance patterns most likely to cause infection in the community the person lives in.

When the condition is detected early, people can take antibiotics at home without being hospitalized.

urinary tract infection

Healthcare providers may treat postpartum patients with UTIs with antibiotics, even if they seem fine and have few symptoms. This is especially true for patients undergoing bladder catheterization during a cesarean section.


If endometritis or a severe wound infection is not detected within an appropriate time, the infection can lead to the formation of an abscess that spreads to other parts of the abdomen, or to the blood vessels that carry the infection to other areas. body.

These infections can be life-threatening, but antibiotics significantly reduce the likelihood of serious infection and death from the disease.

future infertility

People with endometritis are at risk for future infertility.


Puerperal fever, also known as postpartum infection, is an infection of the reproductive organs a few days after delivery. The most common of these infections is endometritis. Other types of infections include wound infections and urinary tract infections. If these diseases are not properly recognized and treated, they can be life-threatening. Antibiotics treat all of them, and usually these postpartum infections go away.

VigorTip words

Having a fever after giving birth can be stressful, especially since an infection keeps you from spending time with your newborn. It is easier to treat postpartum infections when antibiotics are started early.If you have a fever within 10 days of giving birth, talk to your healthcare provider, including your obstetricianon what to do next.