Cervicitis or Inflammation of the Cervix: Acute or Chronic.
The cervix is the lower part of the uterus that leads to the vagina. This is where the menstrual blood comes out of the uterus. During labor, the cervix dilates to allow the baby to pass through the endocervical canal.
Like any body tissue, the cervix can become inflamed, for various reasons.
The inflammation of the cervix is called cervicitis. According to the National Library of Medicine of the United States, more than half of women are affected by this disease at some point in their adult life (PubMed de la Salud, 2012).
The most common cause of inflammation is an infection. The infections that cause cervicitis can be caused by sexual activity, but not always.
The disease is usually classified as acute or chronic. Acute cervicitis involves the sudden onset of symptoms. Chronic cervicitis lasts several months.
Acute cervicitis is usually caused by a sexually transmitted infection, such as:
- Herpes genital;
- The human papillomavirus (HPV);
It can also be caused by an infection due to other factors, such as allergy to spermicides or latex condoms, a diaphragm or a sensitivity to the chemicals found in tampons; normal vaginal bacteria can also cause cervicitis.
Chronic Inflammation of the Uterus is common after childbirth. It can also occur during pregnancy due to the increased levels of hormones that cause the greatest blood flow in the cervix.
Symptoms of Cervicitis
Some women do not show symptoms, but when symptoms are present, they may include:
- Abnormal vaginal bleeding
- Persistent white or gray vaginal discharge;
- Vaginal pain;
- Pain during intercourse;
- Sensation of pressure in the pelvis;
- Back pain.
If cervicitis progresses, the cervix may become too inflamed. In some cases, open wounds may form. Vaginal discharge with the appearance of pus is a symptom of chronic cervicitis.
If you have symptoms of cervicitis or Uterine Inflammation, consult your doctor so that you can establish an accurate diagnosis. The symptoms of cervicitis can also be signs of other vaginal pathologies.
Sometimes, cervicitis is discovered during a routine exam if you do not have symptoms. It can be diagnosed in many ways.
For this test, the doctor inserts a gloved finger into the vagina, while pressing on the abdomen. In this way, abnormalities of the pelvic organs, including the cervix, can be detected.
During this test, the doctor takes a sample of cells from the vagina and cervix. The cells are studied to detect abnormalities.
Vaginal discharge for microscopic examination
The doctor may also decide to take a sample of the flow of the cervix. The sample is then placed under a microscope.
This test can determine if you have a yeast infection (candidiasis), bacterial vaginosis or trichomoniasis, among other pathologies.
Tests for sexually transmitted infections (STDs) can also be done. If a particular infection contributes to Uterine Inflammation, the infection should be treated immediately.
This should cure the cervical inflammation in the uterus.
Treatment of Cervicitis
There is no standard treatment for cervicitis. Your doctor will determine the treatment that best suits you, based on several factors, including general health, medical history, the severity of the symptoms and the degree of inflammation.
There are ways to reduce your risk of developing cervicitis. Abstinence from sex will protect you against cervicitis caused by sexually transmitted infections.
Reduce the risk of sexually transmitted infections by using a condom every time you have sex.
Avoiding chemical solutions such as vaginal wash solutions and scented tampons can reduce the risk of allergic reactions.
If you use a tampon or diaphragm, follow the instructions to know when to remove the tampon and how to clean the diaphragm.