What is an oophoritis?
In most cases, oophoritis only affects the ovaries. Primarily, the fallopian tubes are also inflamed, so that in addition to oophoritis, oviditis also occurs. Especially women of childbearing age are at risk. About two-thirds of all women who are already in their teens have had ovarian inflammation before. Bacteria, mainly chlamydia, transmitted through unprotected sex can be the cause of oophoritis.
Different viruses and bacteria may be responsible for the woman suffering from oophoritis. As a rule, chlamydia is the trigger; Often the doctor also detects streptococci. Sometimes enterococci can trigger oophoritis. One third of all cases are gonococci responsible for the inflammation of the ovaries.
In the context of oophoritis, the physician speaks of an ascending or descending inflammation. The ascending inflammation, which so to speak "rises from the vagina", is triggered by unprotected intercourse and is one of the most common causes of oophoritis. The descending inflammation is triggered by inflamed organs (such as appendicitis), which form of the disease occurs only in the rarest cases.
Even less often the doctor speaks of hematogenous inflammation. The germs - triggered by a virus flu or mumps - get directly through the blood to the ovaries.
Symptoms, complaints & signs
Women who are affected by oophoritis complain mainly of pain in the area of the lower abdomen. In addition to pelvic pain may also fever or any defensive tensions occur. Sometimes the patient complains about nausea and vomiting.
If these symptoms occur, you should seek medical attention immediately. However, there are also disease courses, which bring no symptoms. While many women complain of flu-like symptoms, other patients only visit the doctor because they have had bleeding - out of period.
Diagnosis & disease course
Before a gynecological examination, a comprehensive medical history begins. The doctor performs a vaginal palpation examination; By means of ultrasound examination, signs of oophoritis can also be detected. For example, if there is already an enlargement of the ovaries or fallopian tubes.
The ultrasound examination should also provide information on whether cysts are already present or sometimes fluid in the abdominal cavity is also classic is the pressure pain in the vaginal area or in the area of the uterus. If the patient responds to pressure, this may also be a first sign that there is oophoritis. A blood test gives an indication of which pathogen has caused the oophoritis or is also possible by means of vaginal swab and the following examination by microscope, that the pathogen is determined.
The germ is detected in the laboratory - with the help of special cultures. If the patient complains of very severe pain or if the physician realizes that the ovaries are enormously enlarged, an operative procedure often has to be planned. Using laparoscopy, the physician has an insight into other organs and can sometimes check whether those or even the peritoneum are already affected.
If the disease is treated too late or not at all, a chronic course can result. This means that the woman has to fight against inflammation again and again, resulting in subsequent scarring, so that sometimes also the fertility suffers. Women who have already had three ovarian infections have a 50 percent chance of being infertile.
In the first place it comes with a very severe pain in the area of the abdomen and the stomach with Oophoritis. This pain has a very negative effect on the quality of life of the person affected and can also lead to significant restrictions in everyday life. Furthermore, the patients lose their appetite due to the permanent abdominal pain and thus suffer from weight loss or various deficiency symptoms.
Similarly, the oophoritis can lead to fever, vomiting and nausea, so that the resilience of the patient drops significantly. Women may also experience increased vaginal bleeding, which may be associated with mood swings. As a rule, oophoritis does not heal itself, so treatment by a doctor is always necessary.
The treatment of oophoritis usually takes place with the help of antibiotics and leads relatively quickly to a positive disease course. There are no special complications for the person affected. However, without treatment, oophoritis can lead to appendicitis. The life expectancy of the patient is usually not changed by this disease.
When should you go to the doctor?
Women and girls with lower abdominal pain that are not related to menstruation should consult a doctor. If pain persists or increases in intensity, a doctor is needed. A feeling of tightness in the ovaries or the uterus, malaise and feeling sick are to be examined and treated. If it comes to flu-like symptoms such as vomiting, nausea or an internal weakness, the clarification of the cause is necessary. Fever and a decrease in exercise capacity should be examined and treated by a doctor.
If bleeding occurs outside of the cycle, this is considered a warning signal of the organism. A visit to a doctor is required to enable a diagnosis. Bleeding during the toilet, a loss of libido and complaints during intercourse should be discussed with a doctor. If behavioral changes occur, if increased fatigue is noted or if the person complains of sleep disturbances, a doctor should be consulted.
Swelling in the lower abdomen, a decrease in physical activity and mood swings can occur as a result of oophoritis. So that the restrictions in everyday life do not spread further, a visit to a doctor is advisable. Deficiency symptoms, fatigue and a decrease in weight require action. Since no self-healing is to be expected, medical care must be initiated.
Therapy & Treatment
It is important that oophoritis is treated relatively early. Only in this way can possible after-effects, such as infertility, be prevented. As a rule, oophoritis is treated by antibiotics; The antibiotics have to be taken around 14 days. If the disease is very severe, treatment can no longer be provided on an outpatient basis so that the patient is hospitalized in hospital.
It is ensured that - if it is proven which pathogen was the cause of oophoritis - an immediate drug treatment takes place. If, for example, bacteria, such as chlamydiae, are involved in oophoritis, then not only the patient but also the sexual partner must be treated. Furthermore - even in outpatient treatments of oophoritis - set to anti-inflammatory drugs; sometimes also analgesics can be administered.
After the acute phase is over, patients can also take advantage of sitz baths, fango packs or even short-wave heat therapies. Sometimes even the "pill" can be used so that the ovary is "sedated". In addition to conservative methods, the physician can also opt for surgery. Especially if already past treatments have brought no success or already complications (appendicitis or peritonitis) are present.
Even with very severe scarring, the physician can - together with the patient - agree that the fallopian tubes or ovaries are removed so that a trouble-free life can be led.
Outlook & Forecast
There are so many synonyms for hardly any disease, such as the acute inflammation of the fallopian tube and the ovaries of a woman. A distinction should be made between acute and chronic forms of oophoritis. In general, both diseases are summarized as bacterial inflammation of the female appendages. These are treated under the medical umbrella term "adnexitis".
The prognosis for acute oophoritis naturally differs from that of the chronic form of oophoritis. Acute pelvic inflammatory disease is common in young and sexually active women. In most cases, the prognosis is favorable because acute adnexitis can heal without consequences. The important prerequisite for this, however, is that the infection is diagnosed at an early stage, and not deported. After adequate treatment, acute oophoritis can heal without consequences.
The prognosis is a little worse when it comes to complications in the acute stage. Examples are given with an abscess on fallopian tubes and ovary, or peritonitis. In both cases, as a result of a delay in the associated complaints, a permanent gluing of the fallopian tubes may occur. As a consequence, the affected women would have to reckon with permanent infertility.
If treatment with the gynecologist is not already taken at the first symptoms of oophoritis, the inflammation of the female appendages may become chronic.
An ovarian inflammation can be prevented, for example, if both partners opt for protected sexual intercourse (using a condom). Finally, chlamydia or other bacteria transmitted as part of sexual activity are the main triggers.
In most cases, only limited measures of immediate follow-up care are available to the person concerned in oophoritis. For this reason, the person concerned must go to a doctor right at the first symptoms and signs of the disease, so that further complications or complaints can be prevented. In the worst case, it comes untreated to complete infertility of those affected, which can not be undone.
Therefore, the primary diagnosis of this disease is the early diagnosis. Oophoritis is in most cases treated by taking different medications. It is always important to pay attention to the correct dosage and also on the regular intake of the medication to relieve the symptoms. If the disease is treated by antibiotics, it should not be taken with alcohol.
Even after treatment, regular checks and examinations by a doctor are very important in order to detect and treat damage to the internal organs at an early stage. As a rule, oophoritis does not reduce life expectancy if it is detected and treated early. Further follow-up measures are not necessary and are usually not available to the person concerned.
You can do that yourself
Women who suffer from ovarian inflammation should first follow the guidelines of the gynecologist. The pain killers and anti-inflammatories must be taken according to the instructions of the doctor, so that the healing proceeds optimally.
Accompanying this, a whole range of natural remedies such as yarrow, horsetail or oat straw can be taken. Homeopathic preparations such as belladonna or aconitum have an anti-inflammatory effect and may also be used in consultation with the doctor. Affected women should also dress warmly and wear sturdy shoes. After intercourse, which should take place in the first weeks after diagnosis with a condom, careful body hygiene is required. Chronically ill should pay attention to a good intimate hygiene permanently.
If unusual symptoms or symptoms occur during or after treatment, a visit to a doctor is recommended. The physician can monitor the course and adjust the treatment if necessary. In addition, he may consult a homeopath and other physicians if there is a serious underlying disease or if the oophoritis does not resolve within a few days to weeks. The patients should also take care and avoid contact with cold.