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Acute Salpingitis

Acute salpingitis is infection of the fallopian tubes. These two tubes carry the eggs from the ovary to the uterus. Pelvic pain is the main symptom of acute salpingitis. Read on to learn more about the condition and how it can be treated.

Cross section front view of vagina, uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries. Fallopian tubes are inflamed.

What Causes Acute Salpingitis?

A vaginal or cervical infection often causes salpingitis. If this infection travels up into your uterus, it can reach your fallopian tubes. You may acquire the infection, such as chlamydia or gonorrhea, through sexual activity. A medical or surgical procedure, such as childbirth or insertion of an IUD, can also cause acute salpingitis, although this is rare. Salpingitis most commonly occurs in young, sexually active women, but can occur in women of any age. 

Salpingitis is also called pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). But the term “PID” refers to infection and inflammation in any of the reproductive organs. “Acute salpingitis” is the specific term for infection of the fallopian tubes.

Diagnosing Acute Salpingitis

Some women with acute salpingitis have symptoms, such as lower abdominal pain and fever, while others have no symptoms. No single test diagnoses salpingitis. Instead, your doctor gives you tests to rule out other problems. First, your health care provider performs a pelvic examination and asks about your symptoms and health history. Then, you’ll likely have one or more of the following tests:

  • Urine test to check samples of your urine for signs of infection.

  • Blood tests to check samples of  your blood in the lab for problems.

  • Vaginal or cervical culture to take a sample of mucus or cells from your vagina or cervix and check them for infection.

  • Pelvic ultrasound to look at images of your pelvic organs. During ultrasound, painless sound waves create images.

Treating Acute Salpingitis

To treat the infection, your doctor will give you antibiotic medications. If the infection is mild, you will be able to take these at home. Take all of the medication as directed until it is gone, even if you feel better. In some cases, you may also receive an injection of medication. If the infection is severe, you may need to stay in the hospital. This is so you can get antibiotics through an IV line. In most cases, antibiotics cure the infection.

Follow-up

With prompt treatment, salpingitis can be cured. Your health care provider will follow up with you to be sure you have no lingering effects of the infection and there has been no damage to your fallopian tubes.

Call your health care provider right away if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • Pelvic pain doesn’t go away or gets worse

  • Painful or frequent urination

  • Vaginal discharge with a bad odor

  • Fever of 100.4°F (38°C) or higher

 

 

 

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