Doctor's Notes on Cervicitis
(Cervix Inflammation or Infection)
Cervicitis is inflammation of the cervix, the part of the uterus which protrudes into the vagina. Many women who have cervicitis don't know there is a problem because many women do not have any symptoms or signs. However, when symptoms and signs do occur, they may include
- vaginal itching,
- vaginal bleeding,
- irritation or inflammation of external genitalia,
- burning or discomfort during urination,
- pain during intercourse,
- bleeding or spotting after sexual intercourse,
- abdominal pain,
- low back pain, and
- vaginal discharge (may have an unpleasant odor).
Cervicitis has multiple causes, including
- vaginal infections,
- injury or irritation of the cervix (such as inserting an intrauterine device),
- chemical irritation from douches,
- foreign bodies left in the vagina (such as a tampon),
- allergic reactions (latex or condom allergies, allergies to contraceptives such as spermicides, infection with human papillomavirus [HPV]),
- infection with herpesvirus,
- sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) such as gonorrhea, chlamydia, and/or trichomonas, and
- HIV infection.
What Are the Treatments for Cervicitis?
Treatment for cervicitis is based on the cause. For example, if cervicitis is caused by allergy to products like hygiene products or a spermicide, treatment is to stop use of the product. Medical treatment may include the following:
- Antibiotics for bacterial and/or sexually transmitted diseases (STIs)
- Antifungals for yeast infections
- Antivirals and/or vaccine for viral infections (vaccine to prevent viral infection that may lead to cervical cancer)
The cause of cervicitis may be diagnosed by your doctor. The doctor can prescribe specific medical treatments that work best against infectious strains that are causing your problem. If STIs are the cause, both you and your sexual partner(s) need treatment.
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Vaginal Yeast InfectionsVaginal yeast infections (vaginal candidiasis, genital candidiasis, or vulvovaginal candidiasis) is a fungal or yeast infection. Symptoms include vaginal discharge, vaginal itching, painful or burning urination, and painful intercourse. There are a variety of causes of a vaginal yeast infection. Treatment is generally OTC vaginal yeast infection medication.
Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.