Tubo-Ovarian Abscess

Tubo-Ovarian Abscess: Causes, Risk Factors, Signs, Symptoms, Tests, Treatment

What is Tubo-Ovarian Abscess?

Tubo-ovarian abscess is a condition where there is collection or accumulation of pus and bacteria within the part of the fallopian tube, which is adjacent to the ovary. A tubo-ovarian abscess is a severe type of pelvic inflammatory disease. The common cause for this is sexually transmitted disease. Antibiotics are used for treatment of tubo-ovarian abscess. NSAIDs are given for pain relief. The abscess can be drained laparoscopically. In severe cases, surgery may be required.

Tubo-Ovarian Abscess

Causes and Risk Factors of Tubo-Ovarian Abscess

  • Insertion of intrauterine devices (IUD).
  • Having more than one sexual partner.
  • Previous history of pelvic inflammatory disease.
  • Unprotected sex.
  • Having sex with a partner with sexually transmitted disease.
  • Sexual activity during adolescence.
  • Other medical conditions, which cause weakening of the immune system such as diabetes, organ transplant, chemotherapy and AIDS.

Signs and Symptoms of Tubo-Ovarian Abscess

  • Left or right lower abdominal pain.
  • Worsening abdominal pain with activity or sexual intercourse.
  • Low back pain.
  • Vaginal discharge.
  • Fever.
  • Chills.
  • Pain in the joints.
  • Swelling in the joints.
  • Rash.
  • Heavy menstrual bleeding.
  • Vaginal spotting.
  • Nausea.
  • Vomiting.
  • Fatigue.
  • Malaise.

Tests to Diagnose Tubo-Ovarian Abscess

  • History and physical exam.
  • Pelvic exam.
  • VDRL blood test.
  • Complete blood count.
  • Chlamydia & gonorrhea culture.
  • Pelvic ultrasound.
  • CT scan of the pelvis.
  • MRI of the abdomen.
  • PAP smear.
  • Test for pregnancy.

Treatment for Tubo-Ovarian Abscess

Antibiotics are given for treatment of a tubo-ovarian abscess. NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications) such as ibuprofen and naproxen are given for pain relief. Laparoscopic drainage of the abscess can be done. Male sexual partners should also be tested to prevent re-infection. Sexual intercourse should be avoided till the treatment is complete. Narcotic pain medications should be given for moderate to severe pain and should be only used for a short period of time. In severe cases of tubo-ovarian abscess, surgery may be required.

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