It is the chronic or persistent inflammation of the cervix, which is the lower part of the uterus. This condition occurs only in women.
If the acute cervicitis is left untreated, it may persist resulting in chronic cervicitis. Chronic conditions can lead to several complications.
Although there may be multiple causes of cervical inflammation, noninfectious causative factors are common and may include contraceptive agents (such as contraceptive creams, cervical plugs) and chemicals that induce allergies.
Signs and symptoms of chronic Cervicitis include redness and swelling of the cervix , abnormal discharge from the vagina, or itching around the genitals. The condition can be diagnosed by means of a Papanicolaou and tissue culture studies.
The treatment of chronic Cervicitis depends on the cause of the disease. The prognosis of Chronic Cervicitis with adequate treatment is generally good. However, the condition can be repeated.
Cervicitis, which indicates an inflammation of the cervix, is classified according to the following types:
- Acute cervicitis.
- Chronic Cervicitis.
- Follicular Cervicitis.
Who gets Chronic Cervicitis?
Chronic cervicitis is commonly observed in women who have children or are in their procreation phase. It can affect women of any age group, although the risk is higher in older women.
It is known that the condition occurs in all races, ethnic groups and in all geographic regions.
Which are the risk factors?
Risk factors for chronic cervicitis may include:
- Acute long-term cervicitis that is not treated or treated properly.
- Advanced age; Older women are at greater risk.
- Regular use of douching: Showers alter the chemical balance in the vaginal area causing different bacteria to grow and thrive in the altered environment.
- History of sexually transmitted diseases.
- Regular use of certain contraceptives that irritate the cervix.
- Participate in unprotected sex; sex with multiple couples.
- Surgery or radiotherapy to the cervical region.
It is important to keep in mind that having a risk factor does not mean that one is going to get the condition.
A risk factor increases the chances of obtaining a condition compared to an individual without the risk factors. Some risk factors are more important than others.
Also, not having a risk factor does not mean that a woman will not get the condition. It is always important to discuss the effect of risk factors with your health care provider.
What are the causes of chronic cervicitis?
Although chronic cervicitis can be caused by many factors, most are due to a noninfectious cause.
Acute cervicitis that is not treated or treated inappropriately over a long period of time can also result in a chronic condition.
In some cases, the cause of the disease may not be determined.
- Allergies to condoms, douching, contraceptive creams (spermicides), etc.
- Irritation, due to the insertion of a device, such as a cervical cap or a tampon.
- Use of chemical products (allergic reactions).
- Iatrogenic cause, including recent surgeries and radiotherapy that affects the cervix.
- Injury in the vagina.
- Cervical polyps.
- Presence of Nabothian cysts: If these openings of cysts become blocked, then the cyst may become infected resulting in chronic Cervicitis.
- Chronic bacterial infections due to staphylococci, streptococci, E coli, anaerobic bacteria.
- Sexually transmitted infections (STIs), such as those caused by the bacteria Neisseria gonorrhoeae.
- Sometimes, chronic cervicitis can occur due to follicular cervicitis, which is usually due to chlamydial (bacterial) infection.
Viral infections such as due to the herpes simplex virus.
Parasitic infections such as those caused by Trichomonas vaginalis.
what are the signs and symptoms?
In most women, signs and symptoms of chronic cervicitis are not observed. In other women with signs and symptoms, the following can be observed:
- Swelling and redness of the cervix.
- Some women may have abnormal vaginal discharge.
- Increased frequency of urination.
- Itching in the genital area.
- Pain during intercourse
- Pressure in the pelvis.
Since many women show no indication of the condition, an annual examination and controls are important in the diagnosis of chronic cervicitis.
What are the possible complications?
Complications of chronic Cervicitis may include:
- The spread of infection in the uterus, the urinary bladder (cystitis), the endometrium (endometritis), the ovaries and the fallopian tube lead to pelvic inflammatory disease.
- Pelvic inflammatory disease can lead to infertility and ectopic pregnancy.
- Increased susceptibility to HIV infection.
- People who are pregnant have an additional risk of complications, such as miscarriage and premature delivery, if the cervicitis is not treated.
- Recurrence of the disease even after treatment.
How is chronic cervicitis treated?
The treatment of Chronic Cervicitis depends on the cause of the inflammation. Treatments may include:
- Symptomatic treatment of signs and symptoms, if the cause is due to a non-infectious agent.
- Surgical treatment for chronic Cervicitis may include laser therapy and cryotherapy.
- Antibiotic medicine, if the bacteria are the cause of the condition.
- Antiviral medication, if viruses are the cause of the condition.
- Avoiding sexual intercourse until treatment is completed may be necessary; Generally, the treatment of the couple is also important (when the cause is of a sexually transmitted infection).
How can it be prevented?
It can be prevented by reducing the risk of developing acute cervicitis. This can be achieved by:
- Avoid possible allergens and irritants such as showers, spermicidal creams or cervical caps.
- In general, you should avoid leaving a foreign body or chemical in the cervix for prolonged periods.
- Practice safe sex; Avoid sex with multiple partners.
- Change of contraceptive forms: The change from oral contraceptives to douching or spermicidal solutions, etc.
- Emptying the bladder after intercourse.
- Maintain cleanliness and hygiene, especially before and after sexual activities.
- Sexual partners may also have to be treated for infections.
- Perform Pap smears regularly as recommended by the health care provider
In short, an immediate and adequate treatment of acute cervicitis.