Cervicitis is inflammation of the cervix or cervix. This inflammation can be marked by bleeding from the vagina outside the menstrual period, pain during intercourse, or abnormal discharge from the vagina

The cervix is ​​the lower part of the uterus which is connected to the vagina. Like other tissues, the cervix can also experience inflammation for various reasons. The cause can be an infection, for example a sexually transmitted infection , or non-infectious, such as irritation or allergies.

In cervicitis due to untreated infection, the infection can spread to the abdominal cavity. This condition can cause fertility problems. Meanwhile, in pregnant women, infection in the abdominal cavity can cause problems for the fetus they contain.

Cervicitis can occur suddenly (acute) or develop slowly over the long term (chronic).

Causes of Cervicitis

Cervicitis due to bacterial or viral infection is generally transmitted through sexual intercourse. Some infections that are spread through sexual contact are:

  • gonorrhea
  • Chlamydia
  • Trichomoniasis
  • Genital herpes
  • Mycoplasma genitalium

Apart from infection, there are other conditions that can cause cervicitis, namely:

  • Allergic reactions to spermicides (substances that can kill sperm), feminine products, or the latex material from contraceptives
  • Imbalance in the growth of bacteria in the vagina
  • Irritation or injury from using tampons
  • Disturbances in the balance of the hormones estrogen and progesterone, which can interfere with the body's ability to maintain cervical health
  • Cancer or side effects of cancer treatment, such as radiotherapy

Cervicitis risk factors

Cervicitis can occur in all women. However, there are several factors that can increase the risk of this condition, namely:

  • Having unprotected sex, for example, having multiple partners or not using protection
  • Be sexually active from a young age
  • Have a history of sexually transmitted diseases
  • Have had cervicitis before

Cervicitis symptoms

Most people with cervicitis experience no symptoms. Therefore, cervicitis is often detected when undergoing a doctor's examination for other reasons.

However, there are some sufferers who experience symptoms of cervicitis, such as:

  • Unusual and copious discharge from the vagina
  • Frequent urination accompanied by pain
  • Dyspareunia , namely pain during intercourse
  • Bleeding from the vagina after sexual intercourse, even if you are not menstruating
  • Pain in the vagina
  • Pressure or pain in the pelvis or abdomen
  • Back pain
  • Fever

Inflammation of the cervix or cervix can be severe. This condition is characterized by the formation of open sores or discharge of pus from the vagina.

When to see a doctor

Check with your doctor if you experience symptoms of cervicitis in the form of:

  • Continuous discharge from the vagina, especially if it smells bad
  • Discharge in the form of pus, mucus mixed with blood, or greenish yellow liquid
  • Bleeding in the vagina outside the menstrual period
  • Pain during sexual intercourse

Early examination needs to be done so that cervicitis can be diagnosed earlier. That way, the worsening of this condition can be prevented.

Diagnosis of Cervicitis

To diagnose cervicitis, the doctor will ask questions about the symptoms experienced, medical history, history of sexual intercourse, and history of the patient's pregnancy and childbirth.

Next, the doctor will carry out a physical examination which includes observation and internal examination. The doctor will also carry out an examination using a speculum to check the condition of the vaginal walls and cervix.

To confirm the diagnosis, the doctor will carry out supporting examinations, namely:

  • Pap smear , to detect abnormal cells by taking fluid samples from the cervix and vagina
  • Colposcopy , to examine abnormal conditions in the vagina with the help of a binocular called a colposcope

Cervicitis Treatment

Treatment of cervicitis is carried out based on the cause and severity. For cervicitis due to irritation from the use of certain materials, tools or products, the patient must stop using it until healed.

Meanwhile, in cervicitis due to infection, there are several drugs that can be given by doctors, namely:

  • Antibiotics, eg azithromycin, doxycycline, erythromycin, ofloxacin , or ceftriaxone , to treat cervicitis caused by a bacterial infection
  • Antivirals , such as acyclovir, valacyclovir, or famciclovir, to treat cervicitis due to viral infections
  • Antifungals, such as fluconazole or ketoconazole, to treat cervicitis due to fungal infections

Keep in mind that these medicines must be prescribed and consumed according to doctor's recommendations.

In cervicitis caused by sexually transmitted infections, medicine will also be given to the patient's sexual partners. The goal is to eliminate the infection while preventing transmission.

Cervicitis Complications

If left untreated, cervicitis can cause several complications, namely:

  • Infection that extends to the uterus and fallopian tubes
  • Pelvic inflammation
  • Fertility disorders
  • Increased risk of HIV disease transmission

Cervicitis Prevention

There are several efforts that can be made to reduce the risk of getting cervicitis, namely:

  • Having safe sex, namely by using protection and not changing partners
  • Avoid feminine products that contain fragrances, because they can cause irritation to the vagina and cervix
  • Maintain vaginal hygiene to reduce the risk of infection
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