Salpingitis is the inflammation of the fallopian tubes. The fallopian tubes extend from the uterus, one on each side, and both open near an ovary. Inflammation of the fallopian tubes is also called eustacian salpingitis.

When inflammation occurs, extra fluid secretion or pus collects inside the fallopian tube. Infection of one fallopian tube usually leads to infection of the other. This occurs because the bacteria migrates via the nearby lymph vessels.

Salpingitis is one of the most common (and painful) causes of female infertility. If salpingitis is not promptly treated, the infection may permanently damage the fallopian tube so that the eggs released each menstrual cycle can’t meet up with sperm.

Salpingitis is sometimes called pelvic inflammatory disease (PID).

Types of salpingitis

There are two types of salpingitis: acute and chronic.

  1. Acute salpingitis
    • The fallopian tubes become red and swollen, and secrete extra fluid so that the inner walls of the tubes often stick together.
    • Inflammation appears to happen suddenly and without warning.
    • Sometimes the fallopian tubes may stick to nearby structures such as the intestines.
    • In rare cases the fallopian tubes can rupture and cause a dangerous infection of the abdominal cavity.
  2. Chronic salpingitis
    • Often follows an acute attack.
    • Chronic salpingitis is milder, longer lasting and may not produce many noticeable symptoms.

Symptoms of salpingitis

In mild cases of salpingitis, symptoms may not be present. When symptoms are present, they usually appear after the menstrual period. The most common symptoms of salpingitis are:

  • abnormal color in vaginal discharge
  • abnormal smell in vaginal discharge
  • spotting between periods
  • painful periods
  • pain during ovulation
  • uncomfortable or painful sexual intercourse
  • fever
  • abdominal pain on both sides
  • lower back pain
  • frequent urination
  • nausea and vomiting

Sometimes the symptoms will disappear on their own without treatment. This creates an illusion that the condition is cured. If you believe you have salpingitis, it is important to go to your doctor.

Causes of salpingitis

In most cases, salpingitis is caused by a bacterial infection or a pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). The common types of bacteria that cause salpingitis are: Mycoplasma, Staphylococcus, and Streptococcus. Bacteria can be get into the reproductive system by:

  • sexual intercourse
  • insertion of an IUD (intra-uterine device)
  • miscarriage
  • abortion
  • childbirth
  • appendicitis.

Salpingitis can also be caused by sexually transmitted infections such as gonorrhea and chlamydia.

The risk of developing salpingitis increases if you:

  • have had a sexually transmitted infection
  • have unprotected sex
  • have multiple sexual partners
  • have one partner who has multiple sexual partners

Treatments for salpingitis

The most common treatment options for salpingitis are oral or intravenous antibiotics. They are prescribed to treat the underlying infection. If salpingitis was caused by a sexually transmitted illness, the other sexual partner will also need antibiotics. If they sexual partner does not take antibiotics, there is risk of a new infection.

Salpingitis caused by an abscess might require antibiotics and laparoscopic surgery. The surgery involves draining the abscess. Surgery might also be necessary if the fallopian tubes are filled with fluid.

If the infection has caused scars or adhesions to form, surgery might be needed to remove the damaged areas and to help ensure fertility.

CBD for pain relief of salpingitis

Full-spectrum CBD may help relieve the pain caused by salpingitis. Self-treatment without first talking your doctor can be extremely harmful and is not recommended. Ask your doctor which form of CBD might help alleviate the pain and how long you should take it. It is important to consult with a doctor or a health care practitioner experienced in recommending CBD or medicinal cannabis so you will have the best dosage.

Complications of salpingitis

If diagnosed and treated early, there should be no complications. If treatment is delayed, blockage, adhesions, and scarring will occur in the fallopian tubes.

Some of the most common complications of salpingitis are:

  • infection to nearby structures, such as the ovaries or uterus
  • infection of sex partners
  • an abscess on the ovary
  • ectopic pregnancy
    • Ectopic pregnancy is when a fertilized egg implants outside of the uterus. This type of pregnancy is painful and considered a medical emergency.
  • infertility 
    • Salpingitis is one of the leading causes of infertility.

How is salpingitis diagnosed?

Your doctor can diagnose salpingitis by a pelvic examination, blood tests, abdominal ultrasound,  a mucus swab of the cervix, or a hysterosalpingogram (a painful procedure where a doctor takes an X-ray by injecting an an iodine-based dye into the fallopian tubes through the cervix).

Questions to ask your doctor 

  • How can I prevent this from happening again?
  • What are my treatment options?
    • Will the treatment interfere with other medications I am taking?
    • Can CBD help reduce the pain?
  • Will there be any complications?
  • What symptoms indicate that the infection is getting worst?
  • What are the emergency symptoms that need immediate medical attention and a visit to Urgent Care?
  • Do I need to take time off from work? If so, how much?