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Oophoritis: Can ovarian inflammation syndrome affect fertility?

Find out how this bacterial infection affecting the ovaries happens and how it influences a woman's ability to conceive...

Oophorits, or ovarian inflammation syndrome, is a type of bacterial infection affecting a woman's ovaries.

What's tricky about this condition is it's not so easily detected.

What causes Ovarian Inflammation syndrome?

It can be caused by chronic Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) or sexually transmitted infections (STIs) like chlamydia and gonorrhea.

Oophoritis can also occur when bacteria finds its way to the reproductive tract through the cervix. This can happen when an IUD (intrauterine device) isn't positioned properly. It has also been known to happen during birth or after a miscarriage.

How is Ovarian Inflammation syndrome detected and treated?

The symptoms of Oophoritis can be too mild to recognize. What's more, douching can actually hide certain symptoms.

Here's what you need to watch out for:

  • lower abdomen and pelvic pain
  • heavy menstrual bleeding
  • bleeding in between your cycles
  • pain or bleeding during sex
  • heavy vaginal discharge (that's usually foul in odor)
  • pain, difficulty, or burning sensations when urinating

When left undetected, oophoritis can cause fever, chills, and vomiting.

Blood and urine tests are done to confirm the diagnosis. Some doctors recommend a Pelvic exam, pelvic ultrasound, or laparoscopy to view the Fallopian tubes.

For Oophoritis caused by STIs (sexually transmitted infection), antibiotics may be required. Surgery may also be required to drain abscesses, clear blockages or treat pelvic adhesions.

Can a woman with Ovarian Inflammation syndrome still get pregnant?

When the infection strikes the fallopian tubes, it's called salpingo-oophoritis. If a woman with this condition does not get treatment, it could cause serious damage to her reproductive system, specifically to her ovaries and fallopian tubes.

Once the fallopian tubes are damaged, a woman is more at risk for having an ectopic pregnancy or infections that could lead to sepsis.

If Oophoritis is detected and treated early, pregnancy is still possible. If not, it could have harmful effects on fertility because of the blockages and scar tissue that forms with this condition. As mentioned above, this can be corrected by surgery.

If surgery does not work, doctors usually recommend other means of conception to couples who want to be parents, such as IVF (in vitro fertilization) or enlisting the help of an egg donor in order to conceive.

It's best to consult your Gynecologist for any unusual changes in your body. Trust your instincts, especially since some reproductive conditions manifest through subtle symptoms.

sources: Healthline, BabyPediaFertilitySmarts

READ: Pelvic inflammatory disease and how it can affect fertility