Cervicitis is an infection of the lower genital tract characterized by inflammation of the cervical canal or cervical canal.

It can be caused by sexually transmitted diseases or by injury to the cervix, by a foreign object inserted into the vagina, as well as by IUDs or by malignancy.

In the majority of cases, the disease remains untreated because women do not know about it. Often the inflammation develops without symptoms.

If not treated promptly it can lead to:

• pelvic inflammatory disease, infertility, ectopic pregnancy, chronic pelvic pain;
• miscarriage, cervical cancer or birth complications;

The condition is among the frequent gynecological diseases. More than half of women may develop it at some point in their lives. Risk factors are starting sex at an early age, high-risk sexual behavior, history of sexually transmitted diseases, and multiple sexual partners.

What are the symptoms?

In the mildest form of the disease, you may not notice any symptoms. The first manifestation will likely be a vaginal discharge that increases immediately after menstruation.

Other possible clinical symptoms are:

• Vaginal bleeding;
• Itching and inflammation of the external genitalia;
• Pain during intercourse;
• Bleeding or spotting after intercourse or between periods;
• Burning sensation during urination;
• Pain in the lower back or pain in the lower abdomen, sometimes felt only during intercourse;

In more severe cases, the vaginal discharge is abundant, looks like pus and has an unpleasant smell, accompanied by severe itching, vaginal and abdominal pain. If the infection spreads to other organs, the patient’s temperature rises, they feel nausea and abdominal pain.

What are the causes?

• Vaginal infection or sexually transmitted diseases such as gonorrhea, chlamydia and trichomoniasis;
• HIV, herpes virus infection – genital herpes and human papillomavirus;
• Injury or irritation due to a reaction to the ingredients of soaps, shower gels or a forgotten tampon can also cause the disease. Prolonged irritation makes the cervix susceptible to infection.
• It is possible that the inflammation is due to an allergic reaction to spermicides – contraceptives that neutralize the action of spermatozoa and are applied vaginally or to the latex in a condom.

Cervicitis treatment

Infectious agents such as gonorrhea and chlamydia are treated with antibiotics. Depending on the cause, you may be prescribed antiviral drugs such as acyclovir to treat genital herpes.
If you are pregnant, you will need to consult an infectious disease specialist to help you with treatment.
If the infection has spread, hospitalization may be required.

How to protect yourself?

Infectious agents are preventable by practicing safe sex techniques.

Limit your sexual contacts. Ask about your partner’s sexual history. Make a condom a mandatory part of every sexual intercourse you have. Applying spermicide after removing the condom will most likely prevent inflammation of the cervical canal.
For vaginal infections, start treatment immediately, before they have also affected the cervix.
Regular gynecological examinations and pap smears are recommended regardless of whether you have any symptoms and especially if you are sexually active.
Advise your partner to get tested regularly for sexually transmitted infections.
Avoid chemical irritants such as deodorized tampons, intimate douches or sprays.

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