Inflammation in the ovaries, also known as “oophoritis” or “ovarite”, is caused by an external agent such as bacteria and viruses, when they begin to multiply in the region of the ovaries. In some cases, autoimmune diseases such as lupus or endometriosis leads to inflammation of the ovary, leading to the appearance off various symptoms. Some of them include:
- Pain in the lower belly
- Pain when urinating or during intimate contact
- Vaginal bleeding outside the menstrual period
- Constant fever above 37.5º C
- Seasickness and vomiting
- Difficulty getting pregnant
There is usually change in the menstrual cycle and irregularity in the formation of hormones as a result of this inflammation.
However, these symptoms are also common to other diseases such as endometriosis and inflammation in the tubes. It is often confused with inflammation in the uterus therefore it is important to consult with a gynaecologist so as to identify the correct cause of inflammation and thereafter start the most appropriate treatment.
Main causes of inflammation
Inflammation in the ovary may be due to three different causes that are classified into autoimmune, chronic inflammation; because they happen over and over again and acute inflammation, which may be bacterial or viral. Thus, the three main causes of inflammation in the ovary are:
- Autoimmune inflammation: This can happen due to an autoimmune disease which in most cases is lupus. In this case the body itself attacks and tries to destroy the cells of the ovary. It is the most severe type and can lead to infertility and surgery may be needed to remove the ovaries.
- Chronic inflammation: It is usually related to endometriosis, which occurs when the tissue lining the uterus internally grows outside it, causing inflammation of the ovaries and other organs of the region. In the most severe cases, removal of the ovaries and even the uterus may be necessary.
- Acute inflammation: This is usually caused by presence of chlamydia or gonorrhoea bacteria. In some cases, it may appear after an infection by the mumps virus.
Diagnosis of the inflammation and the differentiation of its classification is usually done by performing laboratory and imagine tests such as blood count, hemosedimentation, ultrasound or radiography. This tests are also done so as to rule out the possibilities of other conditions such as ectopic pregnancy, which is a disease with almost the same symptoms.
Treatment of inflammation in the ovary
Regardless of which of the three types of classifications, treatment for inflammtion is usually done with the use of antibiotics such as amoxilin or azithromycin. Hormonal and anti-inflammatory drugs are also prescribed by the gynaecologist for about 8 to 14 days.
Other medications such as paracetamol and metoclopramide may also be prescribed to curb the effects of pain and feeling sick
However, if the person has been treated before and the inflammation recurs or when the tubes become inflamed, hospitalisation may be necessary and treatment will be done using remedies that will be injected directly into the veins. In the most severe cases, the doctor may also recommend surgery as a form of treatment, which may include removal of the ovaries.