Risk Factors for Cervicitis
You may be at higher risk for cervicitis if you:
- Had recent sexual intercourse without a condom
- Recently had multiple sexual partners
- Have had cervicitis before
Studies show that cervicitis will recur in 8% to 25% of women who get it.
If your doctor suspects you have cervicitis, he or she may do a pelvic exam. This lets the doctor get a closer look at the cervix.
The doctor will probably also swab the cervix to collect vaginal fluids or to see how easily it bleeds.
Your doctor will also probably ask questions about your sexual history. The doctor will want to know:
- The number of partners you've had in the last 60 days
- Whether or not you've had sex without a condom
- The kind of contraception you used
Even if you don't have symptoms, your doctor will perform a routine exam to look for cervicitis if:
- You are pregnant
- The doctor thinks you are at high risk for an STD
Tests for Cervicitis
Your doctor may swab the cervix to check for discharge, swelling, tenderness, and bleeding. Your doctor will test your vaginal fluid for the presence of harmful bacteria or viruses.
You may not need treatment for cervicitis if a sexually transmitted infection is not the cause.
If an infection is suspected, the main goal of treatment is to eliminate the infection and prevent it from spreading to the uterus and fallopian tubes, or if you are pregnant, to your baby.
Depending on what organism is causing the infection, your doctor may prescribe:
- Antifungal medications
- Antiviral medications
Your doctor may also recommend that your partner be treated to make sure you don't get infected again. You should not have sex until you and your partner have finished treatment.
Treatment is especially important if you are HIV positive. That's because cervicitis increases the amount of virus that is shed from the cervix. This may increase your chances of infecting a partner. Also, having cervicitis can make it easier for you to get HIV from an HIV-positive partner.
If your symptoms persist despite treatment, you should be reevaluated by your doctor.
Nondrug treatments like douches or yogurt-based therapy do not work for cervicitis and may actually worsen symptoms.