Learn the pelvic inflammatory disease salpingitis symptoms, causes, types and treatment options and act before complications occur.

Infections that produce salpingitis start in the vagina and go up into the upper genital tract.

Salpingitis is a type of pelvic inflammatory disease that involves inflammation of the fallopian tubes. It usually appears after a bacterial infection by Chlamydia trachomatis or Neisseria gonorrhoeae. However, it can be caused by other types of germs.

In addition, infection with one of these pathogens increases the possibility of transmission of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases. Infections that produce salpingitis start in the vagina and go up into the upper genital tract.

Salpingitis, a Pelvic Inflammatory Disease

Types of salpingitis

Depending on whether it affects a tube or both, it is called unilateral or bilateral salpingitis. Although, bilateral salpingitis occurs in approximately 60% of cases. Two types of salpingitis can be differentiated:

Acute salpingitis: requires immediate medical attention for its symptoms. In addition, treatment with anti-inflammatories and antibiotics is necessary. You may even need surgery if there is an accumulation of pus in the tube.

Chronic salpingitis: it can go unnoticed because it is asymptomatic. It is usually revealed after the menstrual period.

Symptoms of salpingitis

Asymptomatic patients increase the risk of infection due to greater ease of transmission.

The symptoms of this disease may vary depending on the microorganism involved. But there is a characteristic and common symptom, pain and pelvic inflammation.

They can go from 2 days to 3 weeks or even months after having had contact with the causative agent. However, contagion is facilitated by the fact that there are asymptomatic patients. The existence of patients who carry the infection who are asymptomatic increases the likelihood of serious complications.

However, there are other symptoms that may appear as:

  • Abnormal vaginal discharge with thick discharge.
  • Fever, nausea and vomiting.
  • Pain during ovulation.
  • Irregular menstrual bleeding.
  • Uncomfortable and even painful sexual relationships.

How can it be diagnosed?

Doctors take the symptoms and the sexual history of the patient into account for the diagnosis of salpingitis. Ultrasound can detect the most severe cases of salpingitis. At the same time, it allows to rule out the existence of another pathology.

To identify the pathogen that causes salpingitis, doctors perform an analysis of the vaginal secretions. Generally, if the diagnosis is made early, the inflammation remits with the treatment. However, a late diagnosis can involve more serious complications. If so, sequels are more likely.

Treatment

The treatment of choice includes antibiotics to eliminate the infection causing the inflammation.

Being an inflammation normally caused by a bacterial agent, the treatment of choice is the pharmacological one. The treatment consists in the administration of antibiotics and anti-inflammatories for pain.

The antibiotic used will depend on which microorganism is causing the infection. Some of the antibiotics are:

  • Doxycycline
  • Azithromycin
  • Erythromycin
  • Levofloxacin

It is important to mention that the patient’s partner should also be treated with antibiotics. In addition, it is advisable to avoid sexual intercourse until one week after the end of treatment, as sexual practice can worsen the clinical picture.

On the other hand, in the most serious cases, if outpatient treatment is not effective, hospitalization of the patient may be necessary. In this sense, if the infection of the fallopian tubes becomes complicated, we opt for surgical treatment. In these situations it is usual to resort to salpingectomy, that is, to the removal of the fallopian tubes.

Complications

Salpingitis is a cause of sterility. The inflammatory processes cause adhesions in the tubes or fibrosis of the tubal lumen. These adhesions make the tubal channel not work properly.

Inflammation of the tubes hinder the path of the egg to the uterus. This makes it difficult to meet the sperm, and therefore prevents fertilization. In addition, in 50% of ectopic pregnancies, there is a clinical history of salpingitis.

For this reason, if after the treatment there is still alteration in the tubes, doctors recommend in vitro fertilization to achieve a pregnancy.

In addition, in the case where there is a pregnancy where there was no chlamydia infection treatment, it can cause premature births and infections in the newborn. Therefore, the newborn can suffer from conjunctivitis and pneumonia. Other complications that may appear are:

  • Chronic pelvic pain
  • Ectopic pregnancy
  • Pelvic abscess
  • Septicemia
  • Recurrent pelvic inflammatory disease

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