Cervicitis is inflammation of the cervix -- the lower end of the uterus that opens into the vagina.
Cervicitis is common. It may be caused by a number of factors, including infections, chemical or physical irritations, and allergies.
Determining the cause of cervicitis is important. If an infection is the problem, it can spread beyond the cervix to the uterus and fallopian tubes and into the pelvic and abdominal cavity. This may cause problems with fertility --the ability to become pregnant. Or it may cause problems with your unborn baby if you are already pregnant.
Here's what you need to know about symptoms, causes, risk factors, tests, diagnosis, and treatment of cervicitis.
What Is Cervicitis?
Cervicitis is inflammation of the cervix, which can be due to:
- Injury of cells that line the cervix
These irritated or infected cells may become red, swollen, and ooze mucus and pus. They may also bleed easily when touched.
What Causes Cervicitis?
Severe cases of inflammation are usually caused by infections that are passed during sexual activity.
Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) that may cause cervicitis include:
But many women with cervicitis don't test positive for any type of infection. Other causes of the inflammation may include:
Symptoms of Cervicitis
Many women with cervicitis don't have any symptoms. The condition may be discovered only after a routine exam or test.
Signs and symptoms, if present, may include: