The Uterus Is Not Sterile and Contains Bacteria

The prevailing theory of pelvic infections is that the result from an imbalance situation, by which bacteria, or so called, 'bad bacteria' make their way from the vagina, through the cervix, through the normally sterile uterine cavity, into the the Fallopian tubes, and cause infection. The resulting disease has been labeled pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). A study out of the University of Washington has just shown that DNA from bacteria are present in 95% of uterine specimens at the time of hysterectomy. This refutes the long held theory that the uterus is sterile. By also looking at local tissue markers for infection, in most cases there was no inflammation although there were bacteria. Like in other conditions, presence of bacteria alone is not enough to determine that disease is present. The study then also refutes the theory that just bacterial presence in the uterus constitutes an infection. The thinking is that low levels of infection may be a relatively normal finding, just like low levels of bacteria on our skin, in the vagina, in the bladder, and in the urethra.Interestingly, the study also showed that there were different bacteria in the uterus than in the vagina, so there may be differences in why certain bacteria appear in certain places. None the less, as important as bacterial testing is, when testing for infections it's always important to remember, clinical picture is as important as one test verses another test.


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