Tubo-Ovarian Abscess: Care Instructions

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Your Care Instructions

Female pelvic organs

A tubo-ovarian abscess is a pocket of pus that 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.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

How can you care for yourself at home?

  • 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). 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).

When should you call for help?

Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:

  • You passed out (lost consciousness).
  • You have sudden, severe pain in your belly or pelvis.

Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:

  • You have a new or higher fever.
  • Your pain gets worse.
  • You have new belly or pelvic pain.

Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:

  • You are vomiting or cannot keep fluids down.
  • You think you may be pregnant.
  • You are not getting better after 2 days (48 hours).

Where can you learn more?

Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd

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