What is Puerperal fever?

Edward VIMany believe that Jane Seymour’s death following the birth of her son was as a result of puerperal fever, but what exactly does that mean?

Puerperal fever is also known as childbed fever, and occurs when part of the female reproductive organs become infected following an abortion or childbirth. The risk associated with this illness means that fevers of 38 °C or higher during the first 10 days after childbirth, abortion or miscarriage should be reported as quickly as possible.

This infection most often occurs on the raw interior of the uterus once the placenta has separated, but it can really happen in any area of the female reproductive system. The pathogenic organisms causing the infection can then enter the bloodstream and lymph system, causing blood poisoning, inflammation of cellular tissue and of the abdominal lining.

Henry VIIIThis illness can vary in severity, based on the resistance of the affected tissues, the general health of the patient and the virulence of the infecting organism. One of the most common cause of puerperal fever is an abortion which has been performed in an unhygienic manner.

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