A infectious abortion or septic abortion "is an infection of the placenta and fetus (products of conception) of a previable pregnancy. Infection is centered in the placenta and there is risk of spreading to the uterus, causing pelvic infection or becoming systemic to cause sepsis and potential damage of distant vital organs.
Septic abortion, an infected abortion complicated by fever, endometritis, and parametritis, remains one of the most serious threats to women’s health worldwide. Although morbidity and mortality from septic abortion are infrequent in countries in which induced abortion is legal, suffering and death from this process are widespread in many developing countries in which abortion is either illegal or inaccessible. Septic abortion is a paradigm of preventive medicine, relating to all levels of prevention – primary, secondary, and tertiary. In the past, obstetricians/gynecologists were often the experts in management of sepsis.