Cervicitis

Cervicitis is an irritation or
infection of the cervix. A number of different organisms can cause it. Cervicitis
symptoms may start suddenly and are severe. Or it can last several months or
longer.

Cervicitis may be caused by a
number of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) including:

  • Gonorrhea
  • Chlamydia
  • Herpes
  • Trichomoniasis

Cervicitis may also be caused by vaginal infections, such as bacterial vaginosis.

It’s often confused with
vaginitis.

Each woman’s symptoms may vary.
These are the most common symptoms of cervicitis:

  • Discharge that contains pus
  • Pelvic pain
  • Bleeding between periods or after
    sex
  • Urinary problems

Infections within the vagina are easily passed to the cervix. Then the tissue of the cervix can become inflamed and form an open sore. One early sign of this is a pus-like vaginal discharge.

The symptoms of cervicitis may look like other conditions or health problems. Always see your healthcare provider for a diagnosis.

Along with a complete medical
history and physical and pelvic exam, you may also be tested for STIs, and bacterial
vaginosis. Your healthcare provider will also check for pelvic inflammatory
disease. 

Treatment will depend on your symptoms, age, and general health. It
will also depend on how severe the condition is.

Treatment aims to reduce symptoms
and prevent spread of infection. Treatment may include:

  • Antibiotics (to kill infecting
    organisms)
  • Treatment of sexual partners

If not treated, the organisms that
cause cervicitis can move up into the uterus and fallopian tubes. This can cause pelvic
inflammatory disease (PID). PID can lead to infertility and peritonitis, a
life-threatening infection. The organisms can also be passed to sexual partners who can
have serious complications.

  • Cervicitis is an irritation or infection of the cervix.
  • It’s often caused by a number of
    sexually transmitted infections or vaginal infections, such as bacterial
    vaginosis.
  • Symptoms may include discharge that
    contains pus, pelvic pain, bleeding between periods or after sex, or urinary
    problems.
  • If untreated, the organisms causing cervicitis may move up into the uterus and fallopian tubes. This can cause pelvic inflammatory disease.
  • Treatment for cervicitis includes
    antibiotics. Sexual partners must also be treated.

Tips to help you get the most from a visit to your healthcare provider:

  • Know the reason for your visit and what you want to happen.
  • Before your visit, write down questions you want answered.
  • Bring someone with you to help you ask questions and remember what your provider tells you.
  • At the visit, write down the name of a new diagnosis, and any new medicines, treatments, or tests. Also write down any new instructions your provider gives you.
  • Know why a new medicine or treatment is prescribed, and how it will help you. Also know what the side effects are.
  • Ask if your condition can be treated in other ways.
  • Know why a test or procedure is recommended and what the results could mean.
  • Know what to expect if you do not take the medicine or have the test or procedure.
  • If you have a follow-up appointment, write down the date, time, and purpose for that visit.
  • Know how you can contact your provider if you have questions.