Infections that take root in your reproductive system have the potential to render you infertile. And untreated infections can spread to other parts your body. Since they are so dangerous, you must get the medical help you need. Salpingitis is the infection of your fallopian tubes that may give you miserable symptoms or none at all. But it is an infection and needs to be treated. If you notice any changes in your health that may be related to your reproductive organs, visit Century Medical and Dental Center for a thorough evaluation. Call today.
Inflammation happens anywhere your body perceives danger or infection. You may develop an infection or injury in one or both of your fallopian tubes, those three-inch tubes that connect your uterus and your ovaries. When an infection results in inflammation, it’s called salpingitis. Your Brooklyn gynecologist may describe your salpingitis as part of a larger condition known as pelvic inflammatory disease, though PID covers the endometrial tissues and the ovaries as well.
Because your fallopian tube provides a pathway for a developing egg to move from the ovary into the uterus, any inflammation can block the tube and prevent this passage. Every year, up to 100,000 women in the United States suffer from infertility due to scarring of their fallopian tubes caused by salpingitis. The resulting scarring may also increase the chances for an ectopic or tubal pregnancy.
The Causes of Fallopian Tube Inflammation
Salpingitis usually results from an infection that often begins in your vagina, cervix or uterus. The infection can quickly spread into other reproductive organs, including your fallopian tubes. The bacteria may be the result of a sexually transmitted disease or infection, such as chlamydia or gonorrhea.
Childbirth, abortion or miscarriage also provides a possible opportunity for bacteria to be introduced into your reproductive system. Any type of abdominal lining inflammation or blood-born infection may also increase your chances of salpingitis. Another cause is tuberculous salpingitis, which originates in another part of your body.
Complications of Salpingitis
The mucous membrane in your cervix usually prevents bacteria from entering the uterus and other reproductive organs. Ovulation, menstruation and childbirth may allow bacteria and other matter to flow back into the uterus. This normally expulsed material contains endometrial cells that can lead to:
While scarring in your fallopian tubes interferes with your fertility, pus and fluid that collects around the fallopian tubes or other reproductive organs may drain into your abdominal cavity, spreading the infection. Untreated, it can become a dangerous condition.
Symptoms of Salpingitis
The symptoms of salpingitis mimic other conditions, so be sure to discuss any changes and concerns with your obstetrician gynecologist at Century Medical and Dental Center in Brooklyn. Some typical signs of the condition include:
- Severe or prolonged abdominal and pelvic pain, usually on both sides of your body
- A frequent need to urinate
- A general feeling of malaise or being ill
- Nausea with occasional vomiting
- Abnormal vaginal discharge, sometimes with a foul or unpleasant odor
Some women report little or no symptoms. In these cases, salpingitis is only discovered during a routine exam or when searching for other conditions. You can’t know how your body will respond.
Acute Salpingitis vs. Chronic Salpingitis
Your doctor diagnoses your salpingitis based on the length of time you’ve dealt with the symptoms. Acute salpingitis patients have red and inflamed fallopian tubes that often secrete large quantities of fluid, possibly causing them to stick to nearby structures. If the tubes swell with pus and burst, the infection could enter your abdominal cavity and give the appearance of peritonitis or abdominal infection.
Chronic salpingitis sufferers deal with the infections for some time. The condition often goes into remission and then the symptoms reoccur. This cycle can repeat several times. Abscesses and other damage to organs from the infections become common and long-lasting.
Diagnosing and Treating Salpingitis
Identifying what’s responsible for your infection helps your gynecologist prescribe the most effective antibiotic. You must undergo an exam and tests to work toward an accurate diagnosis. Occasionally, your doctor performs a laparoscopy, which is a minimally invasive surgical technique, to confirm the area of infection.
Treatment usually involves some combination of procedures, such as:
- Specific antibiotics tailored for your type of infection — in fact, you may take more than one kind of antibiotic
- Painkillers to help with your discomfort
- Increasing the amount of water you drink to help your body flush out the infection and toxins
- Lots of rest
- Suggested probiotics to help your digestive system reset after your antibiotic use
- Rarely, surgery to drain any abscesses or remove damaged tissue, including possibly your fallopian tubes
If the damage to your reproductive system proves extensive, especially if you’ve battled chronic salpingitis, your doctor may suggest a hysterectomy to remove your uterus and ovaries. Chronic infections affect your other reproductive organs, causing inflammation of your ovaries, as well as other conditions, such as endometritis.
Other Precautions and Preventative Measures
Because some infections result from the presence of a sexually transmitted disease, you must be tested and treated for any of these. If you’re sexually active, your partner or partners should also be tested and treated. This sensible precaution prevents their infection and lowers the chance of reoccurrence for you.
Besides being painful and uncomfortable, salpingitis presents the possibility of damaging not only your fallopian tubes, but other organs as well. Discuss your symptoms with your doctor and be honest regarding your sexual activity and partners. To make an appointment with a doctor contact Century Medical and Dental Center.