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Cervicitis

(continued)

Diagnosing Cervicitis

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.

Cervicitis Treatment

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:

  • Antibiotics
  • 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.

Preventing Cervicitis

You can decrease your risk of getting cervicitis by taking the following steps:

  • Have your partner always use condoms during sex.
  • Limit the number of people you have sex with.
  • Don't have sex with a partner who has genital sores or penile discharge.
  • If you get treatment for a sexually transmitted disease, ask your doctor if your partner should also be treated.
  • Don't use feminine hygiene products. These may cause irritation of your vagina and cervix.
  • If you have diabetes, try to maintain good control of your blood sugar.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Nivin Todd, MD, FACOG on December 09, 2013
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