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Cervicitis (cont.)

What Are the Complications of Chronic Cervicitis?

Untreated microbial cervicitis can spread throughout the genital tract, infecting the lining of the uterus (endometritis) and the Fallopian tubes (salpingitis). Such generalized infections can lead to infertility. Spread to the pelvic organs can cause pelvic inflammatory disease, a serious infection involving the upper genital tract resulting in adhesion formation and tubal blockage. If cervicitis due to an STI is present during pregnancy, the infant may be infected at the time of delivery, resulting in a newborn eye infection that can ultimately lead to blindness. Less commonly, the infant may develop pneumonia caused by a chlamydial infection present in the cervix at the time of delivery.

Can Cervicitis Be Prevented?

Infectious causes of cervicitis are preventable by using common-sense, safe-sex practices. A woman should:

  • Limit her number of sexual contacts, and be aware of her partners' sexual histories.
  • Condoms should be used routinely to prevent STDs.
  • In addition to condoms, spermicides may also contribute to the prevention of cervicitis.
  • Seek immediate treatment for suspected vaginal infections before the cervix becomes infected.
  • Have regular physical examinations and PAP smears performed, regardless of whether there are any symptoms of infection, especially if you are sexually active.
  • Recommend that her partner be screened periodically for STDs.
  • Avoid chemical irritants to the vagina (typically found in deodorized tampons, douches, or sprays).

Medically reviewed by Wayne Blocker, MD; Board Certified Obstetrics and Gynecology

REFERENCE:

Ollendorff, A.T., MD. "Cervicitis." Medscape. Updated: Nov 03, 2014.


Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 11/28/2016

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Cervicitis is an inflammation of the uterine cervix.

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