What is Inflammatory Disease of Cervix Uteri or Cervicitis?
Cervix uteri or just cervix is the name of the lower part of the uterus which opens into the vagina and is a part of the female reproductive system. Inflammation of the cervix is known as inflammatory disease of cervix uteri or cervicitis.
Cervicitis is quite a common condition and there are multiple factors responsible for it, such as infections, allergies and physical or chemical irritations. It is important to find the cause of inflammatory disease of cervix uteri or cervicitis. If the cause of cervicitis is infection, then it can spread to the uterus and fallopian tubes; and from there into pelvic and abdominal cavities resulting in a fatal infection. Patient may also have infertility issues. Patients who are already pregnant and have cervicitis can have problems with their unborn fetus.
What are the Causes of Inflammatory Disease of Cervix Uteri or Cervicitis?
Severe or acute cervicitis is commonly caused by infections, which the patient catches through unsafe sexual intercourse. Some of the sexually transmitted diseases which can cause inflammatory disease of cervix uteri are: Chlamydia, gonorrhea, genital herpes, trichomoniasis, ureaplasma and mycoplasma.
Injury or irritation to the cervix from pessaries, tampons or diaphragms (birth control device) can also cause inflammatory disease of cervix uteri. The infected or irritated tissues of the cervix become swollen, red and ooze pus and mucus. The cervical tissue also bleeds easily when touched.
Allergies to chemicals that is present in spermicides, latex rubber in condoms and douches. They injure the cells which line the cervix.
Hormonal imbalances, which include high progesterone or low estrogen. This interferes with the ability of the body in maintaining a healthy cervical tissue.
Bacterial imbalance that results in bacterial vaginosis and cervicitis.
Cancer or treatment for cancer, such as radiation therapy can cause cervical changes consistent with cervicitis; though this is not that common.
What are the Symptoms of Inflammatory Disease of Cervix Uteri or Cervicitis?
There are many women who may not experience any symptoms with inflammatory disease of cervix uteri. In such cases, cervicitis gets discovered after a routine test/exam.
Symptoms of inflammatory disease of cervix uteri or cervicitis if present consist of:
- Abnormal bleeding from the vagina, such as bleeding between periods or after sex.
- Pale yellow or grayish discharge from the vagina.
- Pelvic or abdominal pain.
- Pain during intercourse.
- Patient may have fever in rare cases.
- Patient may also have painful, difficult or frequent urination.
What are the Risk Factors for Inflammatory Disease of Cervix Uteri or Cervicitis?
- Having sexual intercourse without using a condom increases the risk of inflammatory disease of cervix uteri or cervicitis.
- Having a previous history of cervicitis.
- Women with multiple sexual partners are also at increased risk for inflammatory disease of cervix uteri or cervicitis.
How is Cervicitis Diagnosed?
Pelvic exam of the patient is done if inflammatory disease of cervix uteri or cervicitis is suspected. A pelvic exam allows the doctor to take a closer look at the cervix and to swab the cervix to test the vaginal fluids. During a pelvic exam, a doctor can also see how easily the cervix bleeds.
The patient is asked questions regarding her sexual history such as:
- If the patient has had sex without a condom.
- If the patient has had multiple partners in the past.
- What type of contraception does the patient use.
What is the Treatment for Inflammatory Disease of Cervix Uteri or Cervicitis?
Treatment is needed if inflammatory disease of cervix uteri or cervicitis is caused by an infection from a sexually transmitted disease.
Treating The Infection Causing The Cervicitis: If infection is the cause, then treatment is done to remove the infection and prevent it from spreading to fallopian tubes and uterus. If the patient is pregnant, then the spread of infection to the baby needs to be prevented.
Medications: Depending on the causative organism of the infection, medications prescribed for inflammatory disease of cervix uteri or cervicitis are: Antibiotics, antiviral medications and antifungal medications.
Treating your Sexual Partner: The sexual partner of the patient also needs to be treated to prevent re-infection. Sex should be avoided till treatment is complete.
Treatment for Inflammatory Disease of Cervix Uteri or Cervicitis is more important if the patient is HIV positive. This is because cervicitis leads to increase in the amount of virus which the cervix sheds; thus increasing the chances of infecting the patient’s partner.
Treatment for cervicitis caused by irritation to the cervix from the use of pessaries, tampons or from allergies to chemical in spermicides or latex condoms etc. is stopping their use, which relieves the cervicitis.
Avoid Alternative Therapies When Suffering From Cervicitis: Patient should avoid yogurt-based therapies and douches in the hopes of treating cervicitis as they actually worsen the symptoms.
If patient’s symptoms persist even after treatment, then the patient needs to be reassessed by the doctor.
Can Inflammatory Disease of Cervix Uteri or Cervicitis Be Prevented?
- Always use a condom during sex to decrease the risk of getting cervicitis.
- Avoid having sex with multiple partners to prevent getting inflammatory disease of cervix uteri or cervicitis.
- If your partner is suffering from sexually transmitted disease, then get him treated.
- Avoid having sex with your partner if he is having penile discharge or genital sores.
- Using feminine hygiene products can cause irritation to the cervix or vagina and can lead to inflammatory disease of cervix uteri or cervicitis.
- Diabetic women should keep their blood sugar levels under control to prevent cervicitis.