Cervicitis is an inflammation of the cervix.
Cervicitis is a inflammation of the cervix (the opening into the uterus). This inflammation can be chronic and may or may not have an identified cause.
Causes and symptoms
The most common cause of cervicitis is infection, either local or as a result of various sexually transmitted diseases
, such as chlamydia or gonorrhea
. Cervicitis can also be caused by birth control devices such as a cervical cap or diaphragm, or chemical exposure. Other risk factors include multiple sexual partners or cervical trauma following birth. In postmenopausal women, cervicitis is sometimes related to a lack of estrogen.
Although a woman may not notice any signs of infection, symptoms of cervicitis include the following:
- persistent unusual vaginal discharge
- abnormal bleeding, either between periods or following sexual intercourse
- painful sexual intercourse
- vaginal pain
- frequent need to urinate
- burning or itching in the vaginal area
The standard method of diagnosing cervicitis is through a pelvic examination or a Pap smear. During the pelvic exam
, the physician usually swabs the affected area, and then sends the tissue sample to a laboratory. The laboratory tries to identify the specific organism responsible for causing the cervicitis. A biopsy to take a sample of tissue from the affected area is sometimes required in order to rule out cancer. Colposcopy, a procedure used to look at the cervix under a microscope, may also be used to rule out cancer.
The first course of treatment for cervicitis is usually antibiotics
. If these medicines do not cure the cervicitis, other treatment options include:
- Loop Electrosurgical Excision Procedure (LEEP)
- laser treatment
Cervicitis will usually be cured when the course of therapy is complete. Severe cases, however, may last for a few months, even after the therapy is complete. If the cervicitis was caused by a sexually transmitted disease, both partners should be treated with medication.
Practicing safe sexual behavior, such as monogamy, is one way of lowering the prevalence of cervicitis. In addition, women who began sexual activity at a later age have been shown to have a lower incidence of cervicitis. Another recommendation is to use a latex condom
consistently during intercourse. If the cervicitis is caused by any sexually transmitted disease, the patient is advised to notify all sexual partners.
— Loop Electrosurgical Excision Procedure.
Dambro, Mark R. The 5-Minute Clinical Consult. Baltimore: Williams and Wilkins, 2001.
Mandell, Gerald L. Mandell, Douglas, and Bennet's Principles and Bractice of Infectious Diseases. Philadelphia: Churchill Livingstone, 2000.
Tierney, Lawrence, et. al. Current Medical Diagnosis and Treatment. Los Altos: Lange Medical Publications, 2001.
Malik, S. N., et. al. "Benign Cellular Changes in Pap Smears. Causes and Significance." Acta Cytologica January-February 2001: 5-8.
American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. 409 12th Street, SW P.O. Box 96920, Washington, DC 20090-6920. (202) 863-2518. http://www.acog.org.
Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
Patient discussion about cervicitis
Q. How will my cervical muscu look like if am just few days prgenant like 12days How will my cervical mucus look like if am just few days pregnant because i have not seen my period for two days now.
A. i read that cervical mucus changes when ovulation occurs, becoming more "fluid". raising the chances of getting pregnant. but i don't recall seeing anything about changes during pregnancy...maybe one of the women in the site can light that point.
Q. I have hurt my cervical spine and shoulder in a rear end car crash in July. Why does it still hurt?
A. Spine and back injuries are known to to be causing a lot of pain and discomfort and for a long period of time. You should try and do some mellow exercise and physiotherapy that might help you a lot. If the pain is unbarable, you should consult your doctor about using pain medications.
Q. what does c4-5 mild central disk bulging impinging upon cervical cord without spinal stenosis or distortion of the cord . mild righ neural foraminal narrowing from uncovertebral joint hypertropy mean
A. Well this basically means there is a very small narrowing of the cervical (your neck area) spinal canal (where the spinal cord is), however the narrowing does not cause any damage to the spinal cord, therefore probably does not cause any major symptoms involving the nerves. The c4-5 bulging part refers to the part in between the two cervical vertebras c4 and c5, in which the disc (a part in the spinal cord) is sliding a bit side-ways, but again, it does not seem to be causing any trouble.More discussions about cervicitis
This content is provided by iMedix and is subject to iMedix Terms. The Questions and Answers are not endorsed or recommended and are made available by patients, not doctors.