Symptoms of Pelvic Infection
Abnormal vaginal bleeding with fever may be caused by an infection in the Reference pelvic organs Opens New Window Reference Opens New Window. During your period, bacteria can travel up the vagina into the uterus and fallopian tubes and cause an infection. This is more common during menstruation but can occur at any time during your Reference menstrual cycle Opens New Window.
Symptoms of pelvic infection may include:
- Pelvic pain, especially during intercourse.
- Bad-smelling vaginal discharge.
- Bleeding between periods.
Pelvic infections are usually caused by bacteria. It is important to treat pelvic infections right away to:
- Prevent scarring of the Reference fallopian tubes Opens New Window. Scarring of the fallopian tubes increases the risk of Reference ectopic pregnancy Opens New Window and can cause Reference infertility Opens New Window.
- Prevent infection from spreading to other parts of the body.
- Reduce the risk of passing the infection to your partner.
Sexually active women, especially those who have more than one sex partner, are more likely to have pelvic infections. And the risk for infection is increased if you:
- Have an Reference intrauterine device (IUD) Opens New Window inserted within the past 3 months.
- Have a previous history of Reference pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) Opens New Window.
- Have had Reference sexually transmitted infections (STIs) Opens New Window.
- Have cancer or receive Reference chemotherapy Opens New Window or Reference radiation therapy Opens New Window.
- Have Reference diabetes Opens New Window.
- Are Reference HIV Opens New Window-positive.
- Use steroids.
Reference Toxic shock syndrome (TSS) Opens New Window is a rare and serious condition that has been linked to tampon use. An important symptom of TSS is a rash that looks like a sunburn that develops within 2 days of the onset of a fever of 102°F (38.9°C) or higher. Other symptoms may include headache, muscle aches, sore throat, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach cramps, profound weakness, confusion, and Reference signs of shock Opens New Window. Immediate medical care is needed if toxic shock syndrome is suspected.
If you have symptoms of a pelvic infection, do not have sexual intercourse until you see your doctor. This will reduce the risk of spreading a possible infection to your partner.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference June 20, 2011|
|Medical Review:||Reference William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Reference H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine