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.
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.
- Pain in the joints.
- Swelling in the joints.
- Heavy menstrual bleeding.
- Vaginal spotting.
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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