What is cervicitis?
Cervicitis is an irritation or infection of the cervix. A number of different organisms
can cause it. Cervicitis symptoms may start suddenly and are severe. Or it can last
several months or longer.
What causes cervicitis?
Cervicitis may be caused by a number of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) including:
Cervicitis may also be caused by vaginal infections, such as bacterial vaginosis.
It's often confused with vaginitis.
What are the symptoms of cervicitis?
Each woman’s symptoms may vary. These are the most common symptoms of cervicitis:
Infections within the vagina are easily passed to the cervix. Then the tissue of the
cervix can become inflamed and form an open sore. One early sign of this is a pus-like
The symptoms of cervicitis may look like other conditions or health problems. Always
see your healthcare provider for a diagnosis.
How is cervicitis diagnosed?
Along with a complete medical history and physical and pelvic exam, you may also be
tested for STIs, and bacterial vaginosis. Your healthcare provider will also check
for pelvic inflammatory disease.
How is cervicitis treated?
Treatment will depend on your symptoms, age, and general health. It will also depend
on how severe the condition is.
Treatment aims to reduce symptoms and prevent spread of infection. Treatment may include:
What are possible complications of cervicitis?
If not treated, the organisms that cause cervicitis can move up into the uterus and
fallopian tubes. This can cause pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). PID can lead to
infertility and peritonitis, a life-threatening infection. The organisms can also
be passed to sexual partners who can have serious complications.
Key points about cervicitis
Cervicitis is an irritation or infection of the cervix.
It's often caused by a number of sexually transmitted infections or vaginal infections,
such as bacterial vaginosis.
Symptoms may include discharge that contains pus, pelvic pain, bleeding between periods
or after sex, or urinary problems.
If untreated, the organisms causing cervicitis may move up into the uterus and fallopian
tubes. This can cause pelvic inflammatory disease.
Treatment for cervicitis includes antibiotics. Sexual partners must also be treated.
Tips to help you get the most from a visit to your healthcare provider:
Know the reason for your visit and what you want to happen.
Before your visit, write down questions you want answered.
Bring someone with you to help you ask questions and remember what your provider tells
At the visit, write down the name of a new diagnosis, and any new medicines, treatments,
or tests. Also write down any new instructions your provider gives you.
Know why a new medicine or treatment is prescribed, and how it will help you. Also
know what the side effects are.
Ask if your condition can be treated in other ways.
Know why a test or procedure is recommended and what the results could mean.
Know what to expect if you do not take the medicine or have the test or procedure.
If you have a follow-up appointment, write down the date, time, and purpose for that
Know how you can contact your provider if you have questions.