Postpartum endometritis caused by herpes simplex virus

Obstet Gynecol. 1997 May;89(5 Pt 2):836-8. doi: 10.1016/s0029-7844(97)00106-3.


Background: Herpes simplex virus (HSV) is rarely the causative agent of endometritis and is usually found in association with pelvic inflammatory disease. Only one case of postpartum HSV endometritis has been reported.

Cases: We describe two cases of herpes simplex postpartum endometritis. Neither patient had genital HSV lesions noted at the time of delivery. The first case developed after a preterm cesarean delivery in an 18-year-old primipara. She had persistent puerperal fever despite broad-spectrum anti-microbial treatment. The second case was a 16-year-old primipara whose vaginal delivery was complicated by severe postpartum endometritis. Vulvar and endometrial cultures were positive for HSV alone in both patients. Both infants died from disseminated HSV infection.

Conclusion: Herpes simplex virus can cause clinical postpartum endometritis.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Endometritis / diagnosis
  • Endometritis / virology*
  • Fatal Outcome
  • Female
  • Herpes Simplex / diagnosis
  • Herpes Simplex / transmission
  • Herpes Simplex / virology*
  • Humans
  • Infectious Disease Transmission, Vertical*
  • Male
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy in Adolescence
  • Puerperal Infection / diagnosis
  • Puerperal Infection / transmission
  • Puerperal Infection / virology*