What is tubo-ovarian abscess?

Tubo-ovarian abscess: Overview

A tubo-ovarian abscess is a pocket of pus. It forms because of an infection in a fallopian tube and ovary. A tubo-ovarian abscess is most often caused by pelvic inflammatory disease (PID).

Your doctor will prescribe antibiotics to treat the abscess. A very large abscess or one that does not go away after antibiotic treatment may need to be drained. Sometimes surgery is used to remove the infected tube and ovary.

Tubo-ovarian abscess

A tubo-ovarian abscess is a pocket of pus that forms during an infection in a fallopian tube and ovary. This condition is most often caused by infection or inflammation in the reproductive tract (pelvic inflammatory disease).

A tubo-ovarian abscess is usually diagnosed based on a physical exam and pelvic ultrasound. Some abscesses are found during surgical exploration of the abdomen.

Antibiotics are the first-line treatment for a tubo-ovarian abscess. Very large abscesses or abscesses that do not go away after antibiotic treatment can be drained. Draining may be done with a large needle guided by ultrasound or by surgically cutting into the abscess. Sometimes the infected tube and ovary also have to be surgically removed.

Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID): How is a tubo-ovarian abscess treated?

A tubo-ovarian abscess is usually treated with antibiotics. Very large abscesses or ones that don't go away after antibiotic treatment may have to be drained. Draining may be done by using a large needle. The needle is guided by ultrasound or by cutting into the abscess during laparoscopy or laparotomy. Sometimes the infected tube and ovary also have to be removed with surgery.

Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID): How is a tubo-ovarian abscess diagnosed?

A tubo-ovarian abscess is usually diagnosed with a physical exam and pelvic ultrasound. Some abscesses are found by using surgery (laparoscopy or laparotomy) to look inside the belly.

How can you care for a tubo-ovarian abscess?

  • Take your antibiotics as directed. Do not stop taking them because you feel better. You need to take the full course of antibiotics.
  • Rest until you feel better.
  • Take anti-inflammatory medicines to reduce pain. These include ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and naproxen (Aleve). Be safe with medicines. Read and follow all instructions on the label.
  • Use a hot water bottle or a heating pad set on low for belly pain.
  • Do not have sex or use tampons (use pads instead) until you have taken all the medicine, your pain is gone, and you feel completely well.
  • Talk to any sex partners you have had in the past 2 months. They need to be tested and may need to be treated for a sexually transmitted infection (STI).

Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID): What is a tubo-ovarian abscess?

A tubo-ovarian abscess is a pocket of pus that forms during an infection of a fallopian tube and ovary. This abscess is often caused by pelvic inflammatory disease (PID).

©2011-2024 Healthwise, Incorporated

The content above contains general health information provided by Healthwise, Incorporated, and reviewed by its medical experts. This content should not replace the advice of your healthcare provider. Not all treatments or services described are offered as services by us. For recommended treatments, please consult your healthcare provider.