pelvic abscess

Last reviewed 01/2018

A pelvic abscess most commonly follows acute appendicitis, or after gynaecological infections.

In males the abscess is located between the bladder and the rectum. In females the abscess lies between the uterus and the posterior fornix of the vagina, and the rectum posteriorly.

Clinical features include:

  • systemic features of toxicity - malaise, nausea, vomiting, pyrexia
  • local effects e.g. diarrhoea, mucuous discharge per rectum, mass on rectal or vaginal examination


  • antibiotics are only ever successful for early abscesses
  • surgical drainage