Pelvis, inflammation of (adnexitis)

Inflammation of the female pelvic organs, usually but not always caused by infection. The condition can be very painful, particularly in menstruation, when all the pelvic organs have an increased supply of blood and the menstruating uterus pulls on surrounding organs. A non-gynaecological cause is untreated appendicitis which causes adhesions in the pelvis. Non-infectious causes are endometritis and trapped retroverted uterus, when irritation, swelling and adhesion are the cause of the inflammation. Most pelvic inflammation is caused by infections originating in the cervix and oviducts, as in gonorrhoea. The chance of inflammation is increased by a tampon or intra-uterine device (coil) kept in position for too long. Pelvic inflammation is fairly often the cause of infertility in women, but can sometimes be corrected by microsurgery. Thorough treatment of all infection of the female genital organs is the only way to reduce the incidence of pelvic inflammation.