Cervicitis is a medical condition characterized by inflammation of the cervix, which is the opening of the uterus into the vagina. The most common symptom of cervicitis is vaginal discharge accompanied by vaginal itching and bleeding, painful urination, abdominal pain, painful intercourse, etc. If left untreated, the condition may produce symptoms like foul smelling pus discharge from the vagina, intense pain, complications regarding pregnancy and childbirth, and may even spread to other parts of the body.
Cervicitis is caused most commonly by an infection in the vagina. Infections may be caused by sexually transmitted pathogens, HIV, herpes virus, etc. Non infectious causes of cervicitis include irritation or injury to the cervix, repeated irritation of the vagina and cervix due to insertable contraceptives, tampons, chemicals in washes, allergic reaction to spermicidal ointments or condoms, multiple sexual partners, etc. Cervitis can occur due to unprotected sexual intercourse with a male suffering from urinary tract infection.
Cervicitis is a relatively common condition and does not require treatment unless caused by an infection. In case of cervicitis caused by an infection, treatment is performed based on the pathogen causing the infection.
Treatment of cervitis depends on the pathogen causing the infection. Infections caused by bacteria such as gonorrhea, Chlamydia, etc. are treated with antibiotics. Viral infections like genital herpes are treated with topical or oral antiviral drugs. Intravenous medications may be required with hospitalization for more severe infections. For non infectious causes of cervicitis no treatment is usually required and removal of the cause usually cures the condition in a few days. For sexually transmitted diseases both partners need to be treated to prevent recurrence of the infection. If the male partner suffers from urinary tract infection, he needs to be treated to prevent an infection causing cervicitis in the female partner.
Treatment for cervicitis is performed if the condition is caused by an infection in the reproductive tract. Treatment is performed when symptoms of cervicitis appear, including abnormal discharges from the vagina, bleeding and burning sensation in the vagina, painful urination, etc.
Inflammation of the cervix may be caused by a number of factors other than infectious pathogens like continuous irritation of the vagina and cervix, intrauterine devices, chemicals in vaginal washes, tampons, etc. Treatment with medications is usually not required for these cases as they are cured once the cause of irritation or damage is removed.
Very few side effects are associated with treatment for cervicitis. Some side effects may occur due to improper use of antibiotics.
Post treatment guidelines include use of condoms during sexual intercourse, not using substances that cause irritation of the cervix, getting both the partners tested and treated for sexually transmitted diseases, etc. It is also advised to abstain from sexual intercourse for a few days after successful treatment.
Recovery from the condition usually depends on the extent and severity of the infection. Medications usually lead to complete recovery in a few weeks.
Price of treatment starts from Rs. 100 for medications, and goes up to Rs. 10,000 or higher for surgical procedures and follow-up treatments for complications.
The results of the treatment are not permanent and the condition may recur with another infection or if further irritation or damage occurs in the cervical region.
Alternative treatment options include herbal and other traditional medications, although their efficacy is doubtful.