Pelvic actinomycosis and IUD

Authors: B. Sehnal 1;  J. Beneš 2;  Z. Kolářová 1;  M. Mojhová 1;  M. Zikán 1
Authors‘ workplace: Onkogynekologické centrum, Gynekologicko-porodnická klinika Nemocnice Na Bulovce a 1. LF UK, Praha, doc. MUDr. M. Zikán, Ph. D. 1;  Klinika infekčních, parazitárních a tropických nemocí Nemocnice Na Bulovce a 3. LF UK, Praha, přednosta prof. MUDr. J. Beneš, CSc. 2
Published in: Ceska Gynekol 2018; 83(5): 386-390



To summarize knowledge about the mana­gement in women with proven actinomyces in uterine cervix and inserted intrauterine device (IUD).


An overall review.


Actinomycosis is an uncommon but important subacute or chronic infection caused by anaerobic or microaerophilic bacteria, mainly within the Actinomyces genus. Actinomycosis can affect various organs and tissues in the human body, often manifesting draining sinuses, abscess formation and fibrosis. The pelvic form in women is the most common in the developed countries. Long-duration treatment with antibiotics can be completely effective even in cases of heavy disease. Although pelvic actinomycosis is predominantly associated with the longstanding use of intrauterine device, the risk of future symptomatic infection is extremly low even in women with a cervical Pap smear positive for actinomyces-like organisms (ALO). Therefore the identification of actinomycetes by cytology after cervical Pap smears is not diagnostic nor predictive of any disease because the actinomycetes normally reside in the female genital tract. In the absence of symptoms, patients with ALO on a Pap test do not need antimicrobial treatment or IUD removal. Nevertheless, women choosing an IUD for contraception should know that there is very low risk of developing the infection in later years after insertion.


The sources of literature conclude that removal of the intrauterine device in a patients with a positive ALO in the uterine cervix is not necessary and antibiotics treatment is not required. However, IUD must be changed at least every five years in order to limit the risk of the development of pelvic actinomycosis.


pelvic actinomycosis, IUD, actinomyces, actinomyces-like organisms, ALO, sulfur granules


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Paediatric gynaecology Gynaecology and obstetrics Reproduction medicine
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