Inflamed Cervix

The lower part of uterus of in the reproductive system of females is known as cervix. It is has a rough round shape and is about 2 to 3 cm in length. The documentation of the cervix is more than 2000 years old. The swelling and inflammation of the end of the uterus, in the cervix or near it, also known as cervicitis is caused mostly due to sexually transmitted diseases or infections associated with a sticky or slimy mucous discharge from the vagina. Sexually transmitted infections like gonorrhea or Chlamydia are an inflammation of the endocervix, whereas ectocervix could be due to a virus called herpes virus or genital herpes.

Extreme growth of vaginal flora also known as commensal flora is one of the major causes. The examination of cervicitis is through visualizing it directly. On examining, the vagina might look white and could be helpful in determining the bacteria causing it. However there are other specific tests to examine certain bacterial growth that might cause inflammation and if found positive, it could be treated with antibiotics. Cervicitis is not a rare health condition. More than half of women get affected by it sooner or later after their adulthood usually. Cervicitis could take from months to years to get treated and may lead to prolonged painful intercourse (dyspareunia).

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Causes

  1. Sometimes devices that are inserted in the pelvic portion such as pessary, diaphragm or a cervical cap can cause infections.
  2. Certain birth controls have allergy causing spermicides that could be another reason for inflammation
  3. Some females are also allergic to the latex present in the condom, that is also an important cause of inflammation
  4. Using vaginal creams or other products around that area also give way to cervicitis
  5. Careless sexual life
  6. Multiple sexual partners
  7. Previous background of Sexually transmitted infections that might include the unchecked STI’s which makes the case worse
  8. Sexual intercourse from an early age
  9. Sexual partners already having STIs.
  10. The bacterium causing it is also known as staphylococcus or streptococcus. Sometimes even the normal bacteria in the vagina also known as bacterial vaginosis grows abnormally causing cervicitis.

Signs of cervicitis

  1. Vaginal bleeding is one of the most noticeable symptoms. Bleeding after intercourse, menopause and non-menstrual bleeding indicates abnormality of the cervix.
  2. White, yellow or grey discharge of the vagina that is foul smelling and unusual in appearance.
  3. Feeling excessive pain after intercourse and painful vagina
  4. Feeling of pressure around the pelvic portion
  5. It can also occur without all these symptoms. Even the ones with Chlamydia should get tested. Women who may be at risk for chlamydia should be tested for this infection, even if they do not have symptoms
  6. Redness of the cervix
  7. Swelling in the vaginal walls

Examination and treatment

Bacterial vaginosis i.e. examining the discharge is one of the most common examination process including the testing for Chlamydia, pap smear or gonorrhea. Although antibiotics are one of the finest treatments to treat cervicitis, antiviral drugs also help in treatment of bacterial infection. For women who have reached their menopause, a hormonal therapy with estrogen and progesterone may be used. Usually cervicitis gets better with such treatment options if the cause is rightly diagnosed, but, when these treatments don’t work out; other treatments may include laser therapy, electrocauterization or cryosurgery.

Precautions

  • Staying away from chemical irritants like scented tampons douches etc.
  • Even the placement of tampons maters. One must carefully follow the instructions on the time duration of leaving it inside the vagina, changing and cleaning it as well.
  • A healthy, hygienic sexual relationship is also essential in staying away from such infections that could be a result of Sexually transmitted diseases.
  • Proper and effective use of condoms decreases the risk of cervicitis. Although condoms are commonly associated with men, they are also available for women and are equally effective if used properly.
  • Careful selection of birth controls is also essential

Too many women do not get proper treatment because it is not diagnosed in the first place. Most of the times the symptoms might also not exist at all that makes it more difficult to realize the problem. If it goes untreated or unchecked it may cause infertility, prolonged pain in the pelvic area, vulnerability to abortion, ectopic pregnancy and even cervical cancer. Complications during the delivery may also arise. A moderate sexual behavior, hygienic lifestyle and awareness of such infections make one less vulnerable to cervicitis

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