Postpartum infection treatments: A review

Walter Chaim, Eliezer Burstein

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Upper genital tract infections are the most common complications of the puerperium. Less frequent complications are mastitis and septic pelvic thrombophlebitis. Several risk factors including obstetrical, gynaecological, demographic and surgical, are associated with an increased rate of postpartum endometritis and their influence is higher after a caesarean than vaginal delivery. Postpartum endometritis rate range from 15 to 35%. Their identification should be prioritised to prevent this complication. The vaginal flora plays a central role in the development of endometritis. Prophylactic antibiotic treatment at the time of caesarean delivery has helped reduce the rate of postpartum endometritis. When endometritis has been identified and cultures from the genital tract obtained, empirical therapy should be instituted until culture results are available and only then, if needed, therapy changed according to the microorganism's sensitivity. The use of penicillins, cephalosporins, aminoglycosides, metronidazole, macrolides, β-lactamases inhibitors and quinolones has been reviewed. Various available therapies for endometritis and the experience and results of several authors were analysed. Cost-effectiveness is one of the most important aspects in the decision making process in searching for the best therapy. The monitoring of infection rates within each institution to determine the effectiveness of the prophylactic agent to be used is imperative; it would reduce costs and at the same time, provide the best adequate therapy. After reviewing all the aspects of the different therapies used in case of postpartum endometritis, it may be concluded that the combination of clindamycin and gentamicin is preferred as it can be administered once-daily, and is also the least expensive. Other issues to be taken into account are the number of daily doses and duration of therapy, factors that affect patients compliance and cost of hospitalisation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1297-1313
Number of pages17
JournalExpert Opinion on Pharmacotherapy
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Cephalosporins
  • Clindamycin
  • Metronidazole
  • Penicillins
  • Postpartum endometritis
  • Quinolones

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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