Puerperium meaning is the time from the delivery of the placenta appearing in the first week after the delivery. This period usually goes for 6 weeks in duration. Post 6 weeks of the delivery, changes due to pregnancy, labor, and delivery are sorted out. Puerperium is also the postpartum period which is also called the "fourth trimester" is referred to the time the woman goes through after the delivery. This is the time when maternal physiologic changes related to pregnancy return to the previous version. In addition to the physiologic changes and medical attention, health care providers will be aware of the psychological needs. There are certain restrictions the mother goes through in terms of foods and restricting certain activities.
What is Puerperium or the Postpartum Period?
The normal Puerperium definition is quite similar to the above one. There is a common consensus that the postpartum period begins only after the pregnancy period is over. It is often considered six to eight weeks after delivery. However, all systems of the organ do not return to the base in these weeks. According to American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, postpartum care extends up to 12 weeks post-delivery.
There are different signs of Puerperium, and one such is puerperal sepsis, an infective condition in the mother following childbirth. This is the third most common problem faced by mothers who delivered a kid. According to WHO, there are more than 15% of deaths annually due to this postpartum delivery issue. Many who survive to end up facing long-term health problems like chronic pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) and others. Many doctors use puerperal infection rather than puerperal sepsis. There are three types of postpartum infection a woman can face-
Endometritis: an infection of the uterine lining
Myometritis: an infection of the uterine muscle
Parametritis: an infection of the areas around the uterus
Symptoms of Puerperal Infection:
Different mothers will face different symptoms. This includes-
How this Infection Takes Place?
Although, due to the introduction of antiseptics the cases of puerperal infection have come down, the skin flora such as Streptococcus or Staphylococcus and other bacteria can end up infecting. The infection usually starts in the uterus after the delivery. It happens when the amniotic sac is infected.
What are the Risk Factors?
The risk of developing an infection is usually different among women. Some may face infection and some may not. The chance of contracting infection is-
3 percent during vaginal delivery
15 percent in scheduled cesarean deliveries
20 percent of non-scheduled cesarean deliveries performed after labor begins
Other than these, there are other factors that can make women face the infection. These are as follows.
Causes of Puerperal Infection:
As mentioned above, there are different causes of this infection. This infection is bacterial on the genital tract occurring after the birth of the baby. Some of the common bacterial problems you will face are- streptococci, staphylococci, Escherichia coli (E.coli), clostridium tetani, clostridium welchii, chlamydia, and gonococci.
Some of the Infections Postpartum Delivery Can Have are-
Nosocomial Infections: These bacteria can come from the hospital environment from the patient's own flora.
Endogenous Bacteria: You will find these bacteria traces present in the vagina and rectum which doesn't cause any disease.
Exogenous Bacteria: These are the bacteria found in the vaginal area. This can happen outside due to touching by unclean hands, STD, or any unhygienic substance inserted into the vagina.
Diagnosis of Puerperium Infection
There are different diagnoses of this life-threatening infection if there is no clinical inclusion. Some of the diagnosis are as follows.