Following delivery a woman may develop a fever, which may be referred to as puerperal pyrexia. The cause needs to be identified if effective management is to be achieved.

Causes of postpartum fever:

(1) endometritis (endomyometritis, endomyoparametritis)

(2) surgical site infection

(3) urinary tract infection

(4) mastitis

(5) septic thrombophlebitis

(6) drug fever


Risk factors for sepsis:

(1) home birth in unhygienic conditions

(2) low socioeconomic status

(3) poor nutrition

(4) anemia

(5) primiparity

(6) prolonged rupture of the membranes

(7) prolonged labor

(8) multiple vaginal examinations in labor

(9) cesarean section

(10) obstetrical maneuvers

(11) retained secundines

(12) postpartum hemorrhage

(13) uterine or visceral rupture


Problems in management may arise if the onset is after hospital discharge and if the patient does not come back in immediately for evaluation.

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