What Is Puerperal Sepsis?

What is puerperal sepsis?

Puerperal sepsis or postpartum infection refers to the condition when women develop bacterial infection after childbirth or during breastfeeding. During pregnancy and especially during and just after delivery, the immune system of the mother is very weak. Then she has a higher chance of getting the condition.

What are the causes?

Bacteria are the main cause postpartum infections. They can enter the body

  • during labor pelvic examinations if the health professional is untrained and careless
  • through prolonged labor
  • in the raw interior surface of the uterus after the detachment of the placenta, that is after the delivery
  • through un-sterilized surgical instruments
  • by any laceration in the genital tract
  • through the urinary tract

What are the symptoms?

  • Foul smelling secretion from the uterus, sometimes it may be consisting of pus
  • High fever greater than 38 C or 100.4 F
  • Chills
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Tenderness and pain in the uterus
  • Failure of uterus to resume to the normal size
  • Malaise
  • Loss of appetite and headache
  • Constant feeling of tiredness and fatigue
  • Mastitis – during breastfeeding

When healthcare providers notice these changes, they should remind the doctors as soon as possible. Because delayed diagnosis and treatment of puerperal infections may cause complications such as pus or abscesses, blood clots in the pelvic vein and sepsis etc.

In fact, it is completely preventable, and no woman should have to suffer from the pain. The following are some advisable measures:

  • Choosing the right hospital
  • Proper hygienic practices
  • Timely and regular postpartum checkups

Nowadays the incidence of puerperal sepsis is very low because of optimum practice of medical hygiene. However, it must be made fully sure to avoid all instances of puerperal sepsis.


Keywords: puerperal sepsis

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