“Many cases of cervicitis go untreated because women who have the infection do not know they do”

Emobileclinic Trending Topic: Cervicitis

Cervicitis is a common infection of the lower genital tract. It  is the inflammation of the cervix (this is the neck and outlet of a woman’s uterus). Many cases of cervicitis go untreated because women who have the infection do not know they do. Often there are no obvious symptoms.

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If untreated, cervicitis may lead to pelvic inflammatory disease, infertility, ectopic pregnancy, chronic pelvic pain, spontaneous abortion, cervical cancer, or other complications during the delivery of a baby.

Causes

Vaginal infection or a sexually transmitted disease (such as gonorrhea, Chlamydia, and trichomoniasis)

HIV, infection with the herpes virus (genital herpes), and human papillomavirus (HPV, genital warts) 

Sexual relations at an early age or engage in high-risk sexual behavior with many partners or have a history of sexually transmitted diseases.

Injury or irritation (a reaction to the chemicals in douches and contraceptives or a forgotten tampon) also can cause the disease. 

 Allergy to contraceptive

Spermicides or to latex in condoms that leads to cervicitis.

Symptoms

Vaginal discharge that becomes more pronounced immediately following your menstrual period.

Vaginal bleeding

Itching

Irritation of the external genitals

Pain during intercourse

Bleeding or spotting after sexual intercourse or between periods

A burning sensation during urination

Lower back pain or pain low in the abdomen, sometimes felt only during sexual intercourse

Pus-like discharge with an unpleasant odor, accompanied by intense vaginal itchiness or abdominal pain 

When to Seek Medical Care?

Call your health care professional if you have the following symptoms:

Yellowish pus-like vaginal discharge or any abnormal vaginal discharge associated with pain or itching.

Difficult or painful urination

Increased frequency in urination

Pelvic pain

Bleeding or spotting after sexual intercourse or between periods

Pain low in the abdomen, sometimes felt only during sexual intercourse

Vaginal discharge

Fevers, chills, nausea and vomiting, dizziness 

Diagnosis

Clerking of medical history where questions on your medical problems, contraceptives you use, medications you are taking, family history of disease, your sexual activity, last menstrual period, and whether you have been pregnant and have given birth will be asked.

Physical examination where you will be placed on your back, with your bottom at the edge of the table, and your legs elevated and supported by stirrups.

The doctor will inspect your external genitalia for redness, swelling, or any signs of irritation or injury.

An instrument called a speculum will be inserted into your vagina to hold the vaginal walls apart, permitting an inspection of your cervix and vaginal lining for redness, irritation, unusual discharge, or sores.

Pap smear by swabbing the cervix. Test for gonorrhea and Chlamydia and possibly a slide preparation for the diagnosis of other infections. The Pap test can be used to rule out the possibility of cervical cancer or precancerous changes.

A biopsy (a sample of tissue is taken) might be recommended if your cervix appears abnormal.

Colposcopy is a procedure that uses a binocular-like instrument to get a magnified view of the surface of the cervix

Risk factors for the development of cervicitis 

Starting intercourse at an early age

 High-risk sexual behaviors

History of sexually transmitted diseases

Having multiple sex partners. 

Treatment

Use of antibiotics 

Use of antiviral agents such as acyclovir 

Cauterized by electrocoagulation (heat)

Cryotherapy (freezing)

 



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