Cervicitis, a common infection of the lower genital tract, is the inflammation of the cervix (this is the neck and outlet of a woman's uterus).
Inflammation may be caused by infection from certain sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) or by injury to the cervix from a foreign object inserted into the vagina, from birth control devices such as the cervical cap or a diaphragm, or by cancer.
Many cases of cervicitis go untreated because women who have the infection do not know they do. Often there are no obvious symptoms.
- 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.
- Cervicitis is a very common condition. In fact, more than half of all women may develop cervicitis at some point in their adult lives. Risk factors for the development of cervicitis include starting intercourse at an early age, high-risk sexual behaviors, a history of sexually transmitted diseases, and having multiple sex partners.
The US Centers for Disease and Control (CDC) estimates that over 19 million
sexually transmitted infections (STIs, STDs) occur yearly in the US. Worldwide,
it is estimated that 400 million STIs occur every year.
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