Site Map

Cervicitis

Cervical inflammation; Inflammation - cervix

Cervicitis is swelling or inflamed tissue of the end of the uterus (cervix).

Images

Female reproductive anatomy
Cervicitis
Uterus

I Would Like to Learn About:

Causes

Cervicitis is most often caused by an infection that is caught during sexual activity. Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) that can cause cervicitis include:

Other things that can cause cervicitis include:

Cervicitis is very common. It affects more than one half of all women at some point during their adult life. Causes include:

Too much growth of some bacteria that normally are present in the vagina (bacterial vaginosis) can also lead to cervical infection.

Symptoms

There may be no symptoms. If symptoms are present, these may include:

Women who may be at risk for chlamydia should be tested for this infection, even if they do not have symptoms.

Exams and Tests

A pelvic exam is done to look for:

Tests that may be done include:

Rarely, colposcopy and biopsy of the cervix is necessary.

Treatment

Antibiotics are used to treat chlamydia or gonorrhea. Medicines called antivirals may be used to treat herpes infections.

Hormonal therapy (with estrogen or progesterone) may be used in women who have reached menopause.

Outlook (Prognosis)

Most of the time, simple cervicitis usually heals with treatment if the cause is found and there is a treatment for that cause.

Most of the time, cervicitis does not cause any symptoms. It doesn't need treatment as long as tests for bacterial and viral causes are negative.

Possible Complications

Cervicitis may last for months to years. Cervicitis may lead to pain with intercourse.

When to Contact a Medical Professional

Call your health care provider if you have symptoms of cervicitis.

Prevention

Things you can do to reduce your risk of developing cervicitis include:

Related Information

Cervix
Vagina
Birth control and family planning
Chlamydia
Genital herpes
Genital warts
Pap test

References

Gardella C, Eckert LO, Lentz GM. Genital tract infections: vulva, vagina, cervix, toxic shock syndrome, endometritis, and salpingitis. In: Lobo RA, Gershenson DM, Lentz GM, Valea FA, eds. Comprehensive Gynecology. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2017:chap 23.

McCormack WM, Augenbraun MH. Vulvovaginitis and cervicitis. In: Bennett JE, Dolin R, Blaser MJ, eds. Mandell, Douglas, and Bennett's Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases, Updated Edition. 8th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2015:chap 110.

Swygard H, Cohen MS. Approach to the patient with a sexually transmitted infection. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 25th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 285.

Workowski KA, Bolan GA; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Sexually transmitted diseases treatment guidelines, 2015. MMWR Recomm Rep. 2015;64(RR-03):1-137. PMID: 26042815 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26042815.

BACK TO TOP

Review Date: 1/14/2018  

Reviewed By: John D. Jacobson, MD, Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Loma Linda University School of Medicine, Loma Linda Center for Fertility, Loma Linda, CA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

ADAM Quality Logo

A.D.A.M., Inc. is accredited by URAC, for Health Content Provider (www.urac.org). URAC's accreditation program is an independent audit to verify that A.D.A.M. follows rigorous standards of quality and accountability. A.D.A.M. is among the first to achieve this important distinction for online health information and services. Learn more about A.D.A.M.'s editorial policy, editorial process and privacy policy. A.D.A.M. is also a founding member of Hi-Ethics. This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information: verify here.

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- 2019 A.D.A.M., a business unit of Ebix, Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.

A.D.A.M. content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Firefox and Google Chrome browser.