The lower part of uterus, which eventually leads into the vagina in the female reproductive system in humans is called the cervix uteri or in simple words, cervix. The inflammation of this part of the reproductive system is called Cervicitis.
Inflammation in the cervix is caused due to irritation, infection or injury to the cells, which align the cervix. Any one of a number of infections, mainly sexually transmitted diseases can cause cervicitis, of which the most common are chlamydia , mycoplasma , ureaplasma and gonorrhea. Chlamydia accounts for almost 40% of the total cases. Less common causes of cervicitis are Trichomoniasis (Trichomonas vaginalis) and Genital herpes. Other than STDs, causes for Cervicitis include allergies, bacterial imbalance, injury or irritation resulting from pessaries, tampons, hormonal imbalance and even cancer or its treatment (radiation therapy).
Some cases of cervicitis in women can be symptomless. However, in most cases, symptoms are present, and they include:
1. Persistence of gray or white vaginal discharge that may or may not smell
2. Vaginal bleeding under certain conditions eg. in between periods or after sex
3. Pain during intercourse
5. Difficulty or pain during urination
6. In rare cases, fever or pain in the abdomen
Cervicitis has no typical form of treatment. Treatment may not be needed in cases where the cause is not a sexually transmitted infection. On suspicion of an infection, the main objectives of the treatment are the removal of the infection and obstructing its spread to the fallopian tubes and uterus, or in case of pregnancy, to the baby.
The medical prescription issued by your doctor would depend on the organism, which is causing the infection. It may include Antibiotics, Antifungal medications or Antiviral medications. Cryosurgery, a process, which freezes the abnormal cells in the cervix using freezing temperatures, may also be performed by your doctor. In severe cases, where there is damage to the cervical cells, your doctor can apply silver nitrate (destroys abnormal cells).
Recommendations from your doctor may also ask your partner to be treated so as to prevent recurrence of the disease and to avoid intercourse as long as the treatment is in process. Treatment is mandatory if you are tested to be HIV positive. Moreover, having cervicitis makes you more prone to receive the virus from a HIV positive partner. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a Gynaecologist.