Puerperal fever (childbed fever)

Infection of a woman’s internal genital organs, usually in the first week after having a baby, associated with fever and a foul-smelling discharge. Such infection can easily occur immediately after childbirth, because the woman’s resistance is low. The interior of the womb is still accessible and the wound at the site of the placenta with residual blood clots is an ideal breeding-ground for bacteria. During birth this area is almost always affected, and in some cases true inflammation occurs, which can spread in various ways to other organs in the abdominal cavity, leading to danger of the once dreaded peritonitis. Puerperal fever is an alarming condition; as well as general symptoms such as headache, dullness and loss of appetite a foul-smelling discharge indicates the presence of inflammation. Treatment is by bed rest and drugs to stimulate the womb to expel dead matter. Antibiotics

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