Adnexitis : symptoms and treatment of inflammation of the ovaries and fallopian tubes

Heavy menstruation and intense, cramping abdominal pain are two signs of adnexitis. Most frequently, untreated intimate infections lead to adnexitis. Young, sexually active women between the ages of 15 and 30 are frequently affected. Antibiotics are absolutely necessary for the disease’s treatment.

Adnexitis is an inflammation of the fallopian tubes and ovaries caused by a bacterial infection. It is diagnosed in 1 in 100 women every year, but many cases go undiagnosed. Infection usually occurs via the ascending route from the lower part of the reproductive tract, affecting the cervix and uterus first.

Adnexitis – symptoms

When the appendages are first infected, acute inflammation develops.  The main symptoms of adnexitis are:

  • very strong, cramping abdominal pain,  more specifically lower abdominal pain ,
  • fever (usually above 38°C),
  • bad mood.

There are also often:

  • vomiting,
  • pain during intercourse , worse with deep penetration
  • intense pain when pressing on the abdomen,
  • heavier than usual menstruation,
  • spotting ,
  • intense discharge.

What causes adnexitis?

Bacteria are to blame for the disease’s onset: gonorrhea, chlamydia, and, less frequently, Mycoplasma genitalium, E. coli, or streptococci. Adnexitis is most commonly caused by an intimate sexually transmitted infection. As a result, excessive sexual activity, not wearing a condom, and changing partners all increase the risk of ovarian and fallopian tube inflammation. Menstruation, childbirth, puerperium, miscarriage, and many gynecological treatments all promote appendage inflammation.

Identification of adnexitis

A vaginal ultrasound may be performed by a gynecologist to diagnose inflammation of the adnexa , however, the disease can only be diagnosed by laparoscopy and swab collection. Additional tests are also performed, such as morphology, urine analysis, and inflammatory markers.

Treatment of adnexitis

Adnexitis is treated by taking antibiotics, analgesics, and anti-inflammatory medications orally. A hospital stay is essential in severe cases of disease and in pregnant women. If the body’s response to antibiotic treatment is inadequate, the doctor will recommend surgical treatment, such as laparoscopy or puncture and drainage (in the case of an abscess).

Additional recommendations are usually:

  • easily digestible diet – because as a result of infection and antibiotic therapy, you may have stomach problems (especially diarrhea or bloating),
  • wearing warm clothes – cooling of the abdomen and kidneys aggravates symptoms,
  • drinking plenty of fluids – vomiting and fever contribute to dehydration,
  • taking care of intimate hygiene – not to create favorable conditions for the development of bacteria,
  • rest – to regenerate your strength and fight the infection faster,
  • abstaining from intercourse – it is painful at this time, and may also favor the re-influx of microorganisms.

Effects of adenexitis

It must be remembered that the disease must be treated as quickly as possible, or it will cause major problems. Adnexitis, if left untreated, can have catastrophic implications. such as:

  • abscess
  • adhesions in the pelvis,
  • fistulas,
  • peritonitis,
  • bowel obstruction,
  • infertility,
  • ectopic pregnancy
  • chronic pain.

Many of them are very difficult to treat, so it is not worth underestimating the symptoms of adnexitis. 

What to do when the problem returns?

If acute adnexitis is not properly treated, the symptoms will return. Persistent adnexitis may contribute to the production of adhesions in the fallopian tubes, resulting in difficulties conceiving. In the case of reoccurring infections, therapy is used as in acute inflammation, followed by the so-called stimulation treatment to deal with adhesions. Your doctor may recommend that you see:

  • irradiation and local heating,
  • mud treatments ,
  • terapuls, i.e. treatment using a device that generates a magnetic field,
  • surgical unblocking of the fallopian tubes .


4th Professional Medical Student. Karachi Medical and Dental College.

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